As borne out by some extremely damning statistics, domestic abuse remains one of the most pressing issues in today's world. According to charity Living Without Abuse, domestic abuse will affect one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime, while on average, two women are also murdered a week, and 30 men a year, as a result of domestic violence. It also accounts for 16% of all violent crime and is - according to Shelter - the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless.
Given all of these sorry figures, it is extremely welcome news that a breakthrough app has now been launched to provide assistance to domestic violence sufferers. As the first app to offer direct aid to victims, Bright Sky has been described by Patrick Ryan, CEO of the app's developer, London-based domestic abuse charity Hestia, as "a huge step forward in bringing about much-needed assistance to those who have experienced the trauma of an abusive relationship".
What is the new app capable of?
The app is free to download on both iOS and Android phones, and enables domestic violence sufferers to privately record text, photos and videos relating to incidents of abuse, with these then being sent to a designated email address. The victim may then choose to forward this information to the authorities at a later date. The app also provides sufferers with the phone number and address of a specialist who can give assistance.
Nor is the app merely of use to domestic violence sufferers themselves, also providing useful information and functionality to those who fear that a loved one may be a victim of abuse. The app offers a choice of two options, "get help for myself" or "get help for someone else", with the former presenting the user with the opportunity to answer a questionnaire to help them determine whether they are at risk. Users can also call upon the app's map feature to find help nearby, or read up on general advice and information about domestic abuse.
Safety considerations are paramount
As one might imagine, the safety of the domestic violence victims who are likely to use the app has been carefully considered from its conception. Every page of the app incorporates a 999 button so that users can quickly seek help in case of emergency, while even the app's name, Bright Sky, is designed to give the impression to any perpetrators who may encounter it that it is a weather app.
However, there is also little denying the double meaning of the name, with a Hestia spokesperson telling Huffington Post UK that it "suggests there is a brighter future for those using it, either for themselves by reaching out for support, or by feeling empowered to support someone they know."
The app's release follows the charity's recent 'UK SAYS NO MORE' campaign geared towards ending domestic abuse and assault, and here at Pinder Reaux, we can only enthusiastically support the central and empowering message of both the campaign and app. Remember that as experts in family law, our own solicitors can also play a role in helping you or a loved one to escape a cycle of domestic abuse and begin a new and much happier life.