The screams remain muffled inside the house. Silenced. With no escape.
The lockdown brings different horrors to different people. With women locked away with their husbands, domestic abuse has increased in our country. Unfortunately, domestic abuse remains a tragic reality for many women even under ‘normal’ circumstances - the nationwide lockdown has made it worse.
But if you know of any person who survived domestic abuse, you are likely to have heard of her running away. How does a victim escape in a lockdown? Women who could earlier access a helpline or escape the house are unable to do so now due to the lack of privacy and transportation.
Aarogya Setu is the Government of India's mobile application developed to proactively communicate risks, best practices, and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19.
Since the app is available in 12 languages and has been downloaded by more than 7 crores (70 million) Indians, it will have a large reach amongst a wider audience.
We are asking the Government o extend the functionality of the Government of India’s Aarogya Setu mobile application to include an alert for women to reach out for help.
- The precision tracking feature of the app could be used to identify the household where help is needed.
- The app allows users to volunteer in the time of need. These volunteers could reach out to the domestic abuse victims in their vicinity. Alternatively, Zomato has already adopted the Aarogya Setu app through its large network of delivery agents. These agents who travel neighborhoods can also be leveraged for this task.
- The existing infrastructure of helplines and safe centers run by the National Commission for Women, police, and NGOs working in the domain of domestic abuse, can be used to receive the alerts, assign the volunteers, guide them and follow up with them.
- The user could also be given an option to notify her trusted circle of contacts.
For a vulnerable woman fighting abuse, a one-click alert getting the nearest personnel or volunteer to knock at her door could mean an escape- from the house or the situation, whichever she chooses. It will also let the abusers know that others can hear them and will act to interrupt the violence.
Sign our petition asking the Government to urgently provide interventions in the Aarogya Setu app to assist women fighting domestic abuse.
We need to stand together and raise our voice for women who remain silenced in locked houses and need help #SetuFightAbuse