Domestic Abuse is a serious issue in the United States, but the numbers about just how serious are not accurate. A survey by DomesticShelters.org of over 800 participants states that over one-third of survivors of abuse never document nor report incidents, as they continue to live in fear. Many victims of domestic abuse are embarrassed and ashamed of their situation, do not want to admit they are being abused, and some do not realize they are victims of abuse.
While society thinks of the black-eyed victim, domestic abuse comes in all forms, not only physical violence that leaves marks and bruises. Emotional and psychological abuse, intimidation, threats and control are all unhealthy environments to endure. Raising healthy children in a home filled with tension is cognitive dissonance personified.
Keeping a log of events helps protect you and your children from abuse. Being believed can be a challenge; any evidence a survivor has can be helpful in his or her case. Concrete evidence is especially useful in cases where the survivor may be accused of cognitive impairment or memory issues, which can bring their testimony into question.
Apps for Domestic Violence Incidents
One in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, meaning it is more prevalent than most people realize. Domestic abuse happens behind closed doors and sometimes in plain sight. Believing victims, promoting safety for victims and families, and supporting survivors are all positive ways this exciting technology is improving lives. Being proactive to protect your privacy is the first step in preparing for freedom.
The following innovative apps and resources can assist survivors to identify and record abuse, to provide evidence of abuse:
Rev Voice Recorder and Memos: Rev allows victims to record an abuser’s threats, which can provide strong evidence in court. Rev also allows the recording of the sounds around you, even with other apps open or when the phone goes to sleep, hiding the fact that it is recording. The app syncs to Dropbox to backup recordings, in case the abuser deletes recordings, or the cell phone is damaged, lost or stolen.
Rev quickly provides audio transcription & video transcription, and accurately converts your audio and video to text and delivers the transcripts to your inbox. Recordings and transcripts of threats and domestic abuse are admissible in court.
TapeACall Pro: TapeACall Pro makes it easy to record an incoming or outgoing call you are about to make or one you are already. The other party will have no indication they are being recorded, which eliminates fear of recording. Once the call is concluded, the recording can be easily downloaded to your computer. Files can be labeled and stored, helping you organize them for later use.
VictimsVoice PWA: Keeping a log of incidents of abuse helps to show a pattern of control, aggression and intimidation. This app keeps your notes secure by using an activation code every time you log in. A progressive web app, the use of this tool is not tracked like normal internet use, so it cannot be easily detected by an abuser. Your files can be accessed from any computer when needed.
Noonlight: Noonlight is another Apple app that provides backup for a situation when you feel uncertain. For example, as you transition children, pets or property with an unpredictable spouse. Hold down the button in the app and then release when you are safe. If you let go, but do not input your pin number, 911 will be alerted to your location. Your location will be updated even if you are moving or inside a car.
RUSafe: This app is a free assessment from the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh that works with both iPhone and Android phones. It can help individuals determine if they are in a potentially dangerous situation with someone, and includes a secure journal to upload text, audio, and photographs. The app was created with the danger assessment tool which draws upon the experiences of hundreds of domestic abuse survivors.
myPlan: Many survivors of domestic abuse have difficulty admitting that they are with an abusive partner, even to themselves. A safe partner should never make you feel afraid. The myPlan app is another resource for those that are in situations of domestic abuse. Secure, password-protected, myplan app can help with safety decisions if you or someone close to you is experiencing abuse. The app asks several key questions about your situation. Responses produce a score on a scale that varies from danger to extreme danger. Information about advice, safety-planning, and counseling are also available.
Aspire: Voted as one of the two “best apps for domestic violence prevention” in 2021, Aspire allows victims of abuse to call for help at the touch of a button. The app is concealed as “normal” on a victim’s cell phone by appearing to be a benign news app. Aspire contains summaries of top stories in world, sports, and entertainment news, to remain undetected by others. The Help section of the app also contains resources for victims of domestic violence.
These advances in technology support victims and helps victims survive and escape abuse. Additionally, if someone you know is in an abusive relationship– take advantages of resources available. Take action! Recordings of threats and domestic violence are admissible in court.
Please Note: While powerful tools, these potentially life-saving apps do not serve as a replacement for emergency services – in any situation where you feel threatened or that you may be at risk, please dial 911 or your local emergency number.
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