The Ministry of Interior and the National Police of Ukraine, in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), have launched a mobile application for women who have suffered or are at risk of domestic gender-based violence. The project was implemented with the support of the British Embassy as part of the Biarritz Partnership, which Ukraine joined at the initiative of First Lady Olena Zelenska.
The application will make it easier for women to get help due to physical characteristics (e.g. people with hearing impairments), total control over their private life, lack of money on the account, etc. Main advantage is direct communication with the police via the SOS button, without emergency call 102 and with automatic location of the victim through geolocation.
In Ukraine, one in five women has been subjected to domestic violence. Unfortunately, after the start of a full-blown war, the problem of violence against women became even more obscure. The proposal was presented with the support of Olena Zelenska.
“Our opposition to the Russian aggressor is no reason to forget non-military force, no reason to minimize its damage, or to believe that there will be a specially appointed time to combat it. On the contrary, that time is right now. Now that we all, the whole country, know how scary and painful it is to face an aggressor, we can understand victims of domestic violence better than ever. And we have to help them. After everything our country has been through, we will never condone violence again. Any form of violence.” said Olena Zelenska.
The concept of the application makes it completely invisible to the perpetrator, which allows the victim to install and use the application on their smartphone without fear. The external development interface is disguised as a regular application. The button to call the police, useful information and contacts to other support services in cases of domestic or gender-based violence can only be found in a hidden interface that only the smartphone owner can access.
“Any violence, especially domestic violence, is unacceptable in a civilized country. Therefore, the launch of an application to allow a woman affected by violence to discreetly and promptly call the police, the systematic work of law enforcement officials with human rights organizations, and the focus on public safety will help many Ukrainian families overcome challenges and improve their family relationships,” This was emphasized by the Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastryskyi.
The mobile application was created in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund and with financial support from the UK Government. You can download it on both Google Play and App Store.
“Domestic violence is a very complex problem, and often women don’t pay attention to ‘little things’ like tapping the phone, checking personal messages or limiting the circle of communications. The application will be useful for those who are already in such a situation and need “silent” solutions in search of help: without a call, without a search history in the browser, without the need to communicate with the operator”, said Jaime Nadal, UNFPA representative in Ukraine.
“At UNFPA, we say to women and girls, men and boys that violence of any kind is unacceptable,” he added.
The name of the app will not be disclosed for the safety of the women who will be using it. For details on designation and installation, call the hotline 116-123. The Home Office and the United Nations Population Fund plan to share information through the app with those women who need it, while respecting their safety and privacy.
“We try to protect the victim as much as possible, to provide help. For someone, our application can become a “lifeline”. Its main goal is to allow victims, mostly women, to seek help without having to call 102, without having to speak loudly to the operator to safely and quickly search for information on the internet.” said Deputy Interior Minister of Ukraine Kateryna Pavlichenko.