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The new app, Bright Sky, developed by Hestia as part of the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign is built to support victims of domestic violence. Even today domestic abuse is as prevalent as ever, Bright Sky aims to change that with a number of features to help those suffering.
Bright Sky allows users to use the inbuilt journal function and national advocacy directory. The app gives users access to a journal function. The journal allows for entries to be made in text, photo, video or audio form, which are then sent to the user’s own chosen secure email address.
This allows victims to record and catalogue personal incidents of abuse. This could be used to build a case against an abuser.
For more immediate help the app also includes a national advocacy directory. The directory allows users to locate their nearest domestic abuse advocacy service either using their mobile device’s GPS or through an area or postcode based search.
“This app is a huge step forward to bringing about much needed assistance to those who have experienced the trauma of an abusive relationship” said Patrick Ryan, CEO at Hestia. “[Bright Sky] not only allows victims to record and catalogue all of their personal incidents of abuse which can later be shared with the authorities, but it also allows them to locate the nearest support available to them anywhere and at any time. We are grateful to Newton Enterprise Consulting for helping us develop what is in essence a lifeline to hundreds of women and men across the UK.”
Statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime. That’s a staggering number of people, and apps like this could make all the difference.
Launched on 1st September, Bright Sky has already been downloaded 800 times across iOS and Android, with over 100 calls being made in its’ first month to Emergency Services as a result. Abid Gangat, Media and Communications Manager, said, “Achieving over 800 downloads across both the iOS and Android platforms in the first month of launch is a clear indication of the need of this life saving app.”
“[As a result of Bright Sky‘s unique features] a strong case may be built against the perpetrator which catalogues a history of abuse, not only in the form of a written diary, but also in the form of images, texts, and voice messages for the authorities to use when requested.”
“We at Hestia are extremely grateful to Newton Enterprise Consulting Ltd for giving up their time and resources to develop Bright Sky in partnership with us – Without their assistance this life saving app would not have been possible.”
Though statistics are a little harder to find, The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) 2011 survey showed that one-in-five trans people experienced domestic violence at home for their non-conforming gender identities. So you can imagine what Bright Sky could do for the LGBTQ community as well.
The app also has an additional function: through a series of easy to follow questions, the app is able to provide advice on the health of the relationship and what course of action someone ought to take should the results suggest that the relationship is an abusive one.
As anyone that has suffered domestic abuse will tell you, it can often be very difficult to identify an abusive relationship, especially when you’re in one. So this simple feature is actually one of the more invaluable the app can offer.
The launch of Bright Sky ties in with the larger work Hestia are doing to bring about an end to domestic violence across the UK through their campaign, UK SAYS NO MORE. The campaign aim is to dispel common myths and engage would be bystanders on the issue, by making it the responsibility of every UK resident to stand up, take note and take an active step to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
I fully support the work of Hestia with their Bright Sky app and UK SAYS NO MORE campaign. Domestic abuse shouldn’t be such a prevalent issue in our society, but as long as it is, it’s good to know that steps are being taken to help more people and to encourage others to help too. Here’s hoping this step is instrumental in ending domestic abuse.