Unfortunately the extended confinement measures put in place across the globe to limit the propagation of Covid-19, domestic violence cases rose sharply as many people were confined in a home with their abusers. Despite the measures being lifted, abuse victims can still find themselves confined with their abuser. In this article we have selected some important ‘anti-abuse’ apps and helplines, for those who have bravely decided to say ‘enough’! And ask for help.
Associations and institutions such as the National Helpline (UK),The Hotline (US) and the NSPCC (child abuse) are tirelessly working to ensure that anyone that has been abused feels safe and supported .
Note: See this article on how to use the SOS Emergency feature on your phone and discreetly ask for help.
Refuge operates a free, national domestic abuse helpline in the UK. You can either directly call Refuge’s National Helpline on 0808 2000 247, or contact them via their website with their designated messaging service which is private and secure and separate from your personal email. They will respond to your message within 24 hours, or at a safe time when you can access the help form with your personalised connection details. The website has a Quick Exit feature if you need to close the webpage discreetly, and immediately.
A US equivalent is https://www.thehotline.org. You can call 1-800-799-7233 or if you are unable to speak, you can text LOVEIS to 22522.
App-Elles is an app dedicated to the personal safety of female victims of violence. Made in France, it is available in multiple languages and allows you to notify your friends and family, emergency numbers and associations through calls. Intuitive and easy to use, it allows you to send recordings - useful for any possible legal case - and track your position via GPS.
You can download App-Elles for Android or iOS.
Where Are U is an app connected with national emergency numbers. Thanks to this app it is possible to send your GPS position, to carry out personal wellbeing checks, send silent calls to report emergencies, save data and useful numbers. It works internationally and allows you to contact the local authorities.
The app is available for download on Android and iOS.
Aspire News is a free to use app that offers a discreet platform for users to seek help. On the surface it is a news app and contains summaries of topical stories from across the world, with sports and entertainment news sections. However, hidden in plain sight is the help section of the app, that contains useful resources for victims of domestic violence. From within the app users can send out a call for help at the touch of a button. This app is not a replacement for emergency services and for any situation where you feel in danger, call your local emergency number (999 UK or 911 US).
Aspire News can be downloaded for Android here and iOS here.