By Kayla Woody, House of Hope Prevention Specialist
With telemedicine on the rise and virtual appointments becoming a necessity, we are finding new ways to help people manage chronic conditions in health care. Countless smartphone applications can also help individuals track their everyday issues. It should come as no surprise that there are now apps addressing the public health concern that is domestic violence.
This epidemic effects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men. In one year, this equates to more than 10 million individuals. Unfortunately, domestic violence cases are very hard to prove, largely because the evidence that is presented usually lacks information. These kinds of cases happen behind closed doors where there are no other witnesses, and the only people who know what really happened give different versions of the same event.
For victims of domestic violence, smartphone apps can increase the likelihood that their perpetrator is taken into custody and prosecuted. House of Hope highly recommends the new DocuSafe app created by the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The app was released in May of 2020 and is available for iPhone and iPad users only. The app allows the victim to upload images and videos for safekeeping with secure technology. It also allows the user to send materials to trusted contacts and catalogue evidence for law enforcement, attorneys and advocates.
The DocuSafe app also includes information and resources to help the victim better understand the many different forms of domestic violence. By storing documentation of abuse in one central location, victims can easily identify the abuse that is happening to them and prepare for possible escalation of their perpetrator’s behavior. Not every person in an intimate partner relationship experiencing violence believes it is abuse. The app will provide helpful information to these victims, and being able to see all the red flags together can bring that to light.
Before downloading the app, our advocates ask that you do consider whether it is safe to do so. Some perpetrators may have access to their victim’s technology and can monitor these devises, either physically or remotely.
If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault and would like more information, please contact House of Hope at 405-878-4673, or visit us online at cpnhouseofhope.com. You can also follow us on social media @cpnhouseofhope to find helpful tips and resources.