By: Krystle Crossman
Domestic violence and emotionally abusive relationships are a widespread problem. Many who are in these types of relationships feel as if they are trapped. They do not have the information that they need to get out of their situation or do not have the time that they would need to research it. Hestia, a charity for battered men and woman based in London is helping to change that. They have developed an app for smartphones that can help anyone in an abusive relationship with the touch of a finger.
The app is called “Bright Sky”. There are options available for people who are in an abusive relationship and are trying to get help as well as options for people who are looking for help for a friend or family member. Once an option is chosen as to who the help is needed for a menu comes up where there are many different offerings. These features include a journal, an emergency dialer for 999 (999 in U.K. is 911 here in the U.S.), a directory of domestic violence advocacy groups, an assessment tool, and education about domestic violence.
The journal feature offers a digital notebook where victims can record and log everything. They can log times when abuse occurred. They can write down what type of abuse they have been through. There is a camera option where they can take and upload photos and add it in to the daily log. There is also a video option and a voice memo option. All of these different tools can help to pile up evidence that will be needed when they go to court or go for a domestic violence protection order.
The assessment tool is used to ask questions about the relationship that they are in and will tell them whether they are truly in an abusive relationship and the severity of it. It will take users through a series of questions and then offer advice for what to do at the end of the survey whether it is deemed that they are suffering from abuse or not. They can also use the educational materials that are provided with the app to look up the warning signs that they are in or are soon to be in a relationship with abuse.
The directory feature allows people who are looking for help find out where they can go to ensure their safety. It will point them to nearby domestic violence advocacy groups. These groups can help give them advice on what to do next as well as educate them on how to get out of the situation that they are in. They can find shelters as well as lawyers with the directory.
Hestia is hoping that the app will be able to save the lives of so many who are in a relationship where they may die at the hands of their partners. There are far too many deaths because of domestic violence and they are hoping that this can lessen those numbers considerably.