App to report domestic violence cases being tested

The executive director of Pave, Dr Sudha Nair. Family violence cases rose during the circuit breaker, a 22 per cent increase to the monthly average.
The executive director of Pave, Dr Sudha Nair. Family violence cases rose during the circuit breaker, a 22 per cent increase to the monthly average.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Domestic violence victims can receive aid quickly from social services 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 services agency. Once a case is reported, Pave's administrators 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.

"Grassroot 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," said Pave on Wednesday (July 29).

As first responders, these volunteers will then input case details into the app, which Pave administrators can immediately review before assigning additional support to domestic violence 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 2020, Pave has seen 516 cases of family violence, but there are many more cases out there that remain unreported," Dr Sudha Nair, executive director of Pave, said.

"Domestic violence is more than a family issue, but a community issue, where friends and neighbours can play a part to help build safe home environments."

 
 

Family violence cases rose during 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 period, the police said in May.