Domestic violence support app receives new funding

A domestic violence support app can continue running for three years after receiving an additional $320,000 of funding from the state government.

Mar 07, 2024, updated Mar 07, 2024

The app, which has never been publicly named, connects victim-survivors with police during high-risk situations of domestic and family violence.

Victim-survivors of domestic violence must contact the Domestic Violence Crisis Phone Line to access the app.

Workers then speak with victims to determine how the app could be incorporated into their personal safety plan.

Women’s Safety Services SA CEO Maria Hagias said the app could serve “as an important safety resource for victim-survivors of domestic and family violence at high risk of serious injury or death”.

“Domestic and family violence remains at epidemic levels in our community,” Hagias said.

“In addition to critical prevention work designed to stop gender-based violence before it starts, it is crucial that people who are being subjected to violence receive the support they need to be safe.”

Katrine Hildyard

Child Protection Minister Katrine Hildyard said the app was one aspect of the Malinauskas Government’s commitment to tackling domestic and family violence. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

The app provides support through options such as a duress feature which, if activated, triggers a 24/7 monitoring centre to contact the police for dispatch.

Developed by an Adelaide-based company, the app was launched in November 2018, with over 460 people given access to it in the last financial year, a 27 per cent increase from the previous year. This was more than double the amount of people who registered in the app’s first year.

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Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Katrine Hildyard said people who had used the app had reported “feeling safer”.

“Sadly, for many people experiencing the horror of domestic and family violence, picking up the telephone and calling police could lead to a very dangerous situation and create a life-threatening trigger when authorities are called in,” Hildyard said.

“Having this app can be invaluable and life saving for brave victim-survivors and their children giving them a discreet, sometimes safer way to access emergency support.”

The funding announcement comes days after former senator Natasha Stott Despoja was announced as the lead to the Royal Commission into domestic violence.

“This is one important way to empower victim-survivors as we continue our work to educate men to stop using violence and fundamentally shift attitudes and the gender inequality that contributes the horrific scourge of violence,” Hildyard said.

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