Tech for Good: Organisations Tackling Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is one social issue that has a direct impact on the wellbeing of both society and the individual, and is not only exclusively physical violence but also includes sexual, social, psychological, economic and spiritual abuse.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 34% of Australian women have experienced physical violence and 19% have experienced sexual violence. Each week in Australia a woman is killed as a result of domestic and family violence. Those are horrifying and tragic statistics. And totally unacceptable.
Fortunately, domestic violence has been pushed into the spotlight thanks to the efforts of tireless campaigners. Continuing our Tech for Good series, this post highlights some Australian organisations that are using technology to help those at-risk of domestic and family violence.
Have we missed something? If you know of an Australian organisation harnessing technology to tackle domestic violence, feel free to post a link in the comments section.
Penda was developed to support victims of domestic and family violence, 90 per cent of whom experience financial abuse. For these women, the risk of poverty or financial hardship is one of the most commonly cited reasons for remaining in violent relationships. The free app was developed by Women’s Legal Service Queensland in collaboration with the Financial Rights Legal Centre, with funding from Financial Literacy Australia and support from Credit Union Australia. The app provides practical financial advice to assist with financial safety planning, information on how to access emergency money, crisis payments and emergency housing. Penda features a number of safety measures, including an optional passcode security setting and a lock-screen game accessed by shaking the device or tapping an icon.
SafeConnections is an award-winning project with WESNET Safety Net Australia and Telstra to provide free, safe mobile phones to survivors of domestic and family violence, sexual assault, and other forms of violence against women. When survivors are experiencing abuse, having access to safe ways to connect with services and loved ones is crucial. Telstra is meeting this need by donating 20,000 smartphones with pre-paid credit and WESNET Safety Net Australia, with funding from the Australian Government, is supporting this effort by distributing the phones to frontline agencies and providing training and information on safe use of technology to frontline workers.
Duress is the worlds first protection service that notifies Police – In an emergency, Duress notifies the Police, streams live video and tracks the users location all in seconds, without the need to call 000. In an emergency, such as an assault, an attack, home invasion or domestic violence, there is not enough time to call 000. Duress lets potential victims notify the Police and stream video in seconds, meaning they don’t need to call 000 and explain who they are, where they are, or what is happening.
Daisy is a free app developed by 1800RESPECT to connect women around Australia to services providing support for the impacts of sexual assault family violence and domestic violence. Family members and friends can also use Daisy to gather information and support decision making. Daisy empowers women experiencing gendered violence to access services for their own unique situation – from specialist services, to legal support and advice, through to crisis accommodation – all from the one place.
Commsync harnesses the power of technology to eliminate domestic violence connecting vulnerable community members to their safety network, through the push of a button. Commsync create safety plans tailored to each individual based on their extensive knowledge of the risks inherent in the community services sector and use wearable technology (watches and pendants) and non-wearable (IOT devices) to ‘activate’ these plans. It provides real-time support at the touch of a button or using voice command.
Glue and You is committed to empowering women to rebuild their lives after leaving a situation of domestic violence. The Glue and You platform is a scalable online domestic violence support community, that provides long term support for women who are trying to rebuild their lives and sense of self after an abusive relationship.