Personal protection app helping South Australian women facing domestic violence at home

31.07.2019
Better Services

A life-saving Liberal Government funded mobile phone app linking at-risk women directly to police and domestic violence services has been provided to 46 women since it went live in late November.

The personal protection app’s main safety feature includes a “duress feature”, which links women directly with authorities if they are at immediate risk of harm.

So far, the duress feature has been used 11 times by women in danger. Each time the feature is activated, the alarm alerts a 24/7 monitoring centre to contact SAPOL for a quick police response.

Premier Steven Marshall said combating the scourge of domestic and family violence was a priority of the Liberal Government and the personal protection app was one of a number of measures implemented in the past 12 months.

“If this app has helped even one woman facing a violent situation, then it’s invaluable,” said Premier Marshall.

“This personal protection app is making South Australian women and children safer because they have direct access to emergency support services when they need it and it could quite literally be a lifesaver.”

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the app was making South Australian women feel safe.

“The app has been accessed by 46 women since its launch in November and of those women, 18 are women with children caring for 20 children under the age of 18,” said Minister Lensink.

“I’m told of one potentially life-saving example where a woman triggered the duress feature to automatically request emergency policy attendance.

“The police attended her home and arrested the perpetrator who then received an intervention order based on his stalking behaviour.

“Women who have used the app say it provides them with a sense of comfort knowing that a quick police response is part of their safety plan.”

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Carolyn Power said the app is available to all South Australian women experiencing domestic or family violence.

“If women feel unsafe and would like access to the app, they can contact the 24/7 Domestic Violence Crisis Line,” said Assistant Minister Power.

“Qualified domestic violence counselors work with women to assess their situation and determine if the app would be appropriate as part of their safety plan.”

Women’s Safety Services SA executive manager crisis and integrated responses Kathrine Cock said the app was an invaluable part of a safety plan for women and children exposed to domestic or family violence.

“Women living with violence and abuse are often unable to access emergency services without being placed at further risk. The app has a number of safety functions that enable discreet protection and fast response times from police,” said Ms Cock.

“The portability of a monitored app for mobile devices means that women have access to safety functions outside of the home or workplace, allowing them to feel safer when participating in daily activities that many of us take for granted”.

The Liberal Government provided $150,000 in the 2018-19 State Budget, which includes funding for the 24/7 monitoring of the app.

Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1800 800 098

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