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Principles of a consultation (on the phone)

Talking to victims or third parties who have experienced (sexual) abuse is anything but easy. The person on the phone must not only build trust so that the callers tell what has happened to them or others. They must also be aware of their responsibility because they are acting in a highly sensitive area. This is exactly why there are principles when giving a consultation on the telephone. These principles should not be adhered to but must always be adhered to. They are therefore a central part of Jadati's consultancy services.

Attention was paid to the general principles, concrete action at the first call of a person concerned as well as intercultural counselling.

The general principles may sound banal in the first place, but they are not. For the helpers to comply with them always, they must keep them in mind. Until they are internalised. But what are the general principles?

  • All conversations are subject to strict confidentiality;
  • The callers are always anonymous, i.e. they do not have to give names and addresses. Their number is always suppressed or not stored;
  • Calls are free of chargefor those concerned;
  • Openness to all problemsis essential;

From this, different and very concrete guidelines can be derived for the helpers on the phone. With these, the counsellor must always keep one thing in mind: It costs an enormous effort to reach for the telephone and share one's worries. But what are the guidelines for action?

  • Every case receives the same attention, even if the helpers are not sure whether they are responsible for it;
  • The caller decides for himselfwhat information he discloses and entrusts to the consultant;
  • No matter how abstruse it may sound at the beginning, it mustalways be listened toand the situation and questionsmust always be taken seriously;
  • The way people are treatedmust always be respectful;
  • On the phone, the helpers mustlisten and take an interest. Theymust communicate this to the callers;
  • The counselling must be carried out with an empathetic distance. Limits must be drawn, i.e. they must never allow themselves to be drawn into a crisis;
  • No "cheap advice" or promisesshould be made. Rather, it is about support and strengthening;
  • Solutions must be sought together;
  • The helpers must never forget that the telephone call is a relief for the other person;
  • The hearing should be writtendown and questions and problems should be sorted;
  • Only make offersor refer to other local offers of help;

Just as important as these guidelines and general principles is the intercultural aspect of counselling, or in other words intercultural counselling itself. This is exactly what Jadati wants to achieve.

Because the victims or those affected need offers that enable them to talk about their emergencies in their own language. In addition, the listeners must always recognise the identity of the callers and support their striving for freedom from this emergency and for empathy. It is precisely for these reasons that the intercultural counselling approach is crucial for access to those affected and victims as well as for the success of the counselling itself.

An example of the fact that the intercultural aspect of counselling is decisive is family violence and forced marriage. This is because women or girls with a migration background who are affected by domestic or family violence often experience a trivialisation of their family situation. This means that the cultural attributions often lead to the trivialisation of the violence experienced or witnessed. Family violence or forced marriage therefore require sensitive, intercultural counselling.

However, intercultural consultancy is not only decisive in such cases. It is always an essential part, because without interculturality the victims cannot be helped. Simply because they came to Germany from a different cultural area and their life is always therefore intercultural. The listeners must always be aware of this fact. Just like the general principles and the guidelines for action. Only if everything is considered it is possible to really help those people who are affected.

Jadati Team
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