App for reporting domestic violence on trial

Domestic violence victims can soon receive aid quickly from social service agency Pave now that a new mobile app designed to help them is being tested.

Since June, the app has been piloted in several neighbourhoods, including those in Jurong, Nee Soon, Yio Chu Kang and Tanjong Pagar.

For its pilot tests, Pave recruited 57 volunteers and grassroots leaders to use the app to report abuse cases to the social service agency.

Once a case is reported, Pave's administrators will use the app - which can detect locations - to find volunteers nearby to investigate the incident.

These volunteers, recruited and trained by Pave, have also been deployed to incidents that the social service agency was alerted to by the public.

"Grassroots leader volunteers play an important role in widening detection as they are more likely to encounter cases of family violence, or receive information of such cases, over the course of their community engagement work," Pave said last week.

As first responders, these volunteers will then enter case details into the app, which Pave administrators can immediately review before assigning additional support to the victims.

The app was developed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and learning technology company Kydon Group.

"Over the circuit breaker period between April and June, Pave saw 516 cases of family violence, but there are many more cases out there that remain unreported," said Pave executive director Sudha Nair.

Family violence cases rose during the circuit breaker.

In the first month of the circuit breaker, from April 7 to May 6, there were 476 police reports filed for offences commonly associated with family violence.

This was a 22 per cent increase compared with the monthly average of 389 for such cases before the circuit breaker, the police said in May.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 02, 2020, with the headline App for reporting domestic violence on trial. Subscribe