Prague, Feb 16 (CTK) – The help line of the Czech Child Crisis Centre (DKC) accepted 4,149 contacts last year, 18 percent more than in 2014, head of the help line Hana Konecna told journalists on Tuesday.

Phone contact is most widely used, but the most serious cases are dealt with on the chat, Konecna said.

The DKC focuses on the syndrome of maltreated, abused and neglected child, to which 23 percent of the contacts related.

DKC clients are not only children under 18, but also young adults under 26 who are victims of physical and mental maltreatment and sexual abuse or growing up in the environment with the risk factors endangering their healthy development.

The DKC also works with their parents, grand-parents and other people influenced by the emergency situation, Konecna said.

The center launched the line 20 years ago.

“Thanks to its anonymous nature, it provides safety for the callers,” DKC director Zora Duskova said.

“Its round-the-clock operation is vital. Thanks to this, it also works when other services are unaccessible, substituting for outpatient emergency centers in the Czech Republic. It is accessible from everywhere,” Duskova said.

About three-quarters of contacts are accepted by phone. However, the children and young people increasingly use the chat, available since 2009. Last year, it accounted for 17 percent of the contacts, Konecna said.

“The chat is vital for the detection and uncovering of the most endangered children,” she added.

“On it, the most serious cases of physical and sexual abuse are dealt with,” Konecna said.

Girls turn to the chat in 77 percent of the cases, she added.

Along with its round-the-clock services, the DKC provides prevention. Comic books distributed among children across the country are one of its tools.