The Ministry of Internal Affairs and UN, with the support of the First Lady, launched a mobile application to call the police in cases of domestic violence

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Police of Ukraine in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) presented a mobile application for women who have suffered from domestic, gender-based violence or are at risk. The project was implemented with the support of the Embassy of Great Britain within the Biarritz Partnership, which Ukraine joined at the initiative of First Lady Olena Zelenska.

The application will make it easier to get help for those women who are unable to call the police due to physical characteristics (for example, people with hearing impairment), total control of their personal life, lack of funds in the account, etc. Its main advantage is direct communication with the police through the SOS button, without calling 102 and with automatic determination of the victim’s location using geolocation.

In Ukraine, every fifth woman faced domestic violence. After the start of a full-scale war, the problem of violence against women became, unfortunately, even more hidden. The presentation of the application took place with the support of Olena Zelenska.

“Our resistance to the Russian aggressor is not a reason to forget about non-military violence, not a reason to minimize its harm or to think that there will be some specially determined time to fight it. On the contrary, this time is right now. Nowadays, when all of us, the whole country knows how scary and painful it is to face an aggressor, we can better understand the victims of domestic violence than ever before. And we have to help them. After all that our country has been through, we will not tolerate violence ever again. Any violence in any form,” said Olena Zelenska.

The concept of the application makes it completely invisible to the abuser, which allows the victim to install and use the application on her smartphone without fear. The external development interface is disguised as a regular application. The button to call the police, useful information and contacts of other help services in cases of domestic or gender-based violence can be found only in a hidden interface, which can only be accessed by the owner of the smartphone.

“Any violence, especially domestic violence, is unacceptable in a civilized country. Therefore, the launch of an application so that a woman affected by violence can discreetly and promptly call the police, the systematic work of law enforcement officers with human rights organizations, and the focus on public safety will help many Ukrainian families overcome challenges and strengthen their family relationships,” Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Denys Monastryskyi stressed.

The mobile application was created in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund and with the financial support of the UK government. You can download it in both Google Play and App Store.

“Domestic violence is a very complex problem, and often women do not pay attention to the ‘trifles’, such as monitoring the phone, checking personal messages or limiting the circle of communication. The application will be useful for those who have already found themselves in such a situation and need “quiet” 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.

“We at UNFPA are telling women and girls, men and boys that any kind of violence is unacceptable,” he added.

The name of the app is not announced for the safety of women who will use it. You can find out details about the name and installation by calling the hotline 116-123. The Ministry of Interior and the United Nations Population Fund plan to spread information about the app to those women who need it, while respecting their safety and privacy.

“We strive to protect the victim as much as possible, to make help available. For someone, our application may become the “lifeline”. Its main goal is to give victims, most often women, the opportunity to seek help without calling 102, without the need to speak aloud to the operator, to search for information on the Internet, safely and quickly,” said Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Kateryna Pavlichenko.

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