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DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline Now Providing Services 24/7

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Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) has made services of its Cyber Harassment Helpline available 24/7. In a statement, the internet rights organisation said: “Following the rise of cyber harassment cases following the COVID 19 lockdown, we at Digital Rights Foundation are more dedicated than ever to see the internet be a safer place for all. To this end, in partnership with UN Women in Pakistan, we are strengthening our Cyber Harassment Helpline and make its services available 24/7 for the next three months.

Nighat Dad, who runs the Digital Rights Foundation, told Naya Daur that the number of calls for help had increased in the month of March and April by 189%. The lockdown started late in March in all provinces of Pakistan. “Under lockdown, the extended access to the internet raised the number of cases of cyber harassment and we were getting a lot of queries for mental health counseling,” she said.

“To make the helpline available for 24 hours a day and seven days a week was the need of the hour and with the help of UN Women, we were able to achieve that,” Nighat added.

We offer our services free of cost for anyone who calls in or reaches out to us via social media or email. These include legal aid, the digital help desk, and mental health counseling. During these three months, our toll-free number will be accessible every day of the week, from 9 AM to 5 PM, our mental health counselors will work from 10 AM to 9 PM each day as well. During all other hours of the day, our team will be attending to complaints and queries.

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Our mental health counselors are trained professionals and will be providing free of cost counseling to women and those from marginalized communities.

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Naya Daur