Vodafone Ireland Foundation launches domestic abuse resource app

Research finds 31% of Irish workers have experienced some form of domestic abuse

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26 June 2019 | 0

Vodafone Ireland Foundation has launched a free app that connects victims of domestic violence and abuse to advice and support services across the country

Bright Sky Ireland was developed with UK domestic abuse charity Hestia, Women’s Aid Ireland, and an Garda Siochana, following a successful rollout in the UK.

Users of the app take part in a short questionnaire to assess the safety of their relationship.

Additionally, it uses location data to show users their nearest support centre, outlines the steps to consider if leaving an abusive relationship, and provides information for family and friends concerned about a loved one affected by domestic abuse.

Its most ground-breaking feature is the domestic abuse log. Here, users can detail any incidents, without them being saved on the device itself. Instead, information is sent in a secure digital journal, using either a text, audio, video or photo function. Collating evidence with this feature will enable Gardai to intervene and potentially help prosecutions.

Research carried out by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation showed 31% of Irish workers have experienced some form of domestic abuse. Of this group, 57% felt safer at work than at home. It also found that 63% of participants had been subject to psychological abuse and control, 47% faced physical violence and 23% experienced sexual violence or abuse.

Over one fifth (21%) of participants were subject to some form of domestic abuse daily. For 28%, it occurred two or three times a week.

“Unfortunately, domestic abuse impacts many people across Ireland, with victims in some cases unable to get the support and guidance they desperately need,” said Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland, speaking on the launch of the Bright Sky Ireland app.

“Vodafone supports the wider cause in Ireland and wants to help highlight all forms of domestic abuse. With a third of Irish workers experiencing domestic abuse and one in five Irish women affected by domestic violence, vital supports for victims are of paramount importance to us.”

Patrick Ryan, CEO at Hestia, said: “We know that without access to specialist services, the long-term impact of domestic abuse can be devastating. Bright Sky was conceived in consultation with women living in Hestia refuges in 2015. Their lived experience led us to create a much-needed app which has now been downloaded nearly 20,000 times.”

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