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King and Queen of Spain visit facilities of women’s helpline 016

Their Majesties King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain made a visit to the operations centre of women’s helpline telephone service 016 yesterday to learn more about the organisation and how they work to help victims of gender violence.

The royal couple were welcomed by the centre’s director, Gema de Mijares and Service 016 supervisor, Susana Gálvez. Joined by Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Dolors Montserrat, Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality, Mario Garcés, CEO of Arvato CRM Solutions, Íñigo Arribalzaga and Government delegate for Gender Violence, María José Ordóñez, the couple participated in a meeting to discover more about the offerings of the service.

The 016 telephone service is provided to Spanish citizens by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality (through the Government Delegation for Gender Violence) and offers “free professional care for women victims of gender violence, information about what to do in case they are suffering from gender violence; information on resources and rights of victims in employment, social services, financial assistance fields, shelter for victims of such violence, and legal advice.”

100% state funded, the creation of the telephone was approved in December 2006 by the Council of Ministers and came into operation on 3 September 2007. According to the organisation’s website, the primary objective of the telephone line is to “provide immediate support for women victims of gender violence seeking help.” The abbreviated telephone dialling number – 016 – connects callers to highly trained specialised operators providing free and completely confidential advice and counsel 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In June 2017 the confidentiality of the service was strengthened further when the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality reached a new agreement with a group of mobile phone manufacturers. Callers using BQ, Samsung, LG and Huawei phones will now benefit from the automatic elimination of 016 call traces on the mobile terminals.

The 016 services can be reached via any phone in Spain and also via 016-online@msssi.es Help is available in 51 languages, and if emergency intervention is needed, the operators will redirect the call to emergency services.

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