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May 7, 2013 / Man in the Mirror

Future Gov: APP TO MITIGATE RISK OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAUNCHED IN CANADA

By Sumedha Jalote

The Ending Violence Association of British Columbia (EVA BC), a not-for-profit organisation supporting and coordinating anti-violence programmes in Canada, launched a new mobile safety app to work as a 24/7 mobile, monitored alarm system for women at risk of intimate partner violence.

When a user activates a distress button, the SOSResponse personal safety app will connect her to a safety station, monitored 24/7. The app will automatically take and send 30 photos in 30 seconds and the GPS location of the phone to the station, allowing trained operators to dispatch necessary help to the woman’s location.

Information about the user, such as specific threats and protection orders, will be logged into the monitoring system, and used to help the victim and the police later.

The app has been launched in pilot phase, initially made available in five communities in the state of British Columbia. The pilot programme will focus on increasing the safety of women deemed to be at high risk for domestic violence by an ex-partner charged for a crime by the police.

Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, supported the launched of the app. “This new mobile app is a hands-on, innovative approach to preventing violence against women and girls”, she said.

The app was developed in partnership with SOS Response and business process outsourcing provider TELUS. The app is available for iOS and Android devices. A fee ofCA$34.95 (US$34.39) applies to gain access to the 24/7 monitored alarm station.

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