“The helpline receives more than 250 calls a day regarding emergency medical care, domestic violence, rescue, girl/child missing and others. Since lockdown, the number of cases has increased,” said an executive with the helpline.
The numbers surged immediately after the lockdown, reporting about 5,400 complaints in the first three months of the lockdown. The helpline receives most calls on domestic violence from Tiruchy, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and The Nilgiris, the person said.
“At least 100-150 calls, which is about 50 per cent of the total calls we receive every day, is related to domestic violence. There were about 970 cases in Chennai alone,” said Shakin Banu, officer for domestic violence at the Social Welfare Department.
Cases have been registered in most of the complaints after verifying the matter with the local police station, she said.
The 181 helpline has been serving as a referral point for women in distress since 2018. The women in need of help are also directed to seek help through Amma call center on the number 1100. The medical emergency cases are being directed to the 108 helpline.
Officials added that psychological counselling is also being provided to children and girls who are victims of abuse and domestic violence.
The Amma call center also acts as the primary helpline for women to seek help in cases of abuse.