PCW, TIP-QC launches mobile app on violence against women

Quick information and emergency tools for reporting incidents of violence against women (VAW) are now a fingertip away as the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the Technological Institute of the Philippines – Quezon City (TIP-QC) unveils the VAWfreePH mobile application.

Launched during the 2017 18-Day Campaign To End VAW Kick-Off program at the PETA Theatre in Quezon on November 24, “VAWfreePH” is an android-based personal safety mobile app that gives women and girls a practical tool to fight VAW.

The mobile app has unique features that can be used during emergencies and crisis situations. It can send a discreet short messaging system or SMS to three (3) pre-selected contacts alerting them of the user’s exact location using a global positioning system (GPS).

It also has an SOS button that, when tapped, triggers the mobile phone’s flashlight and sound alarm to gain public attention. Another feature of the app is the audio recording and image capture functionalities for evidence recording. Users can likewise initiate fake calls to get out of unwanted and threatening situations. VAWfreePH mobile app makes reporting very easy using the one-button dialing to the 911 emergency helpline.

Aside from the emergency features, this mobile app can help users search for the nearest hospitals and police women’s desks where VAW victim-survivors can seek help and ask for assistance. This app also includes a directory of helplines and a list of service providers where they can seek help and support.

Apart from the safety and emergency features of the app, VAWfreePH provides public awareness on existing women’s human rights laws such as the RA 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children, and RA 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law, among others. Access to this information helps empower our communities to attain a safer environment for women.

Innovations for women

In a statement, PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa thanked the TIP-QC administrators and students for developing the mobile app.

She noted that the development of the mobile app is a commendable initiative in using technology positively.

“Technological innovations, when used negatively, further perpetrate violence against women and other forms of online harassment, fraud, and abuse. But we can also use technology to bring about meaningful change by empowering more people through accessible information and practical tools, like the VAWfreePH mobile app,” she said.

She encouraged everyone to download the VAWfreePH mobile application, which is available for free, initially for android users. She shared that there have been preliminary discussions with TIP-QC in developing an IOS version of the app.

Android users can download the “VAWfreePH” mobile app in the Google Play store for free.