Bill to make rape hotline calls free passes initial reading

February 22, 2012 14:34


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A bill to make calls to the rape crisis hotline free was prepared for its second and third readings Wednesday in a session of the Knesset Committee for the Status of Women.

The legislation, which was proposed by Orly Levi Abaksis, could be brought to the plenum for a vote as early as Monday.

If passed, it will mean that calls placed by victims of rape or sexual abuse to the helpline will be at no charge to the caller and the calls will not be itemized on telephone bills.

Levi Abaksis said she believes that providing free calls and making them non-traceable will encourage thousands more victims of sexual abuse or rape the freedom to get help.

The legislation refers to the hotlines -- 1202 for women and 1203 for men – run by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel with some government funding. The center receives some 40,000 calls each year.

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