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European victim helpline number 116 006 launches today

A new European-wide helpline number designed to offer victims direct access to professional support associations following crimes such as assault and rape has launched today (Tuesday December 4).

The number - 116 006 - is now in operation in France and across the rest of Europe.

It will be launched officially by Nicole Belloubet, Keeper of the Seals at the Ministry of Justice, later today.

The service is specifically designed to offer a support network to victims after incidents of personal and sensitive crime - including physical or sexual assault, attacks, terrorist-related incidents, identity theft, racism, homophobia, online scams, serious road accidents, natural disasters, and rape.

It is free to call, is anonymous, and is open 7 days a week from 9h to 19h. It will connect victims to over 130 professional support associations.

Calls will be forwarded to the relevant support groups through the network, on a case-by-case basis.

The number has been created to replace the old “08Victimes” number (01 41 83 42 08), which offered a similar service, but was deemed too difficult to remember.

The number will not replace existing emergency service numbers, but act as extra support.

The French Justice ministry website explains: “This new number offers a gateway for all victims, relatives and direct witnesses [of these crimes]. It is the result of the standardisation of service numbers across all countries in the European Union.”

Umbrella victim association France Victimes said: “The 166 006 will allow all people who believe themselves to be victims of a crime or major incident (damage to property or persons, road accidents, attacks or natural disaster) to be assisted by a professional in real time, while still respecting their anonymity.”

Anyone using a French mobile phone when travelling abroad in other European countries will also have access to the service, via the international number 00 33 1 80 52 33 76.

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