Did you know that violence against women can start even before the birth of a female child? This is because of sex-selective abortions and the effects of battering during pregnancy. This trend of potential or actual Gender Based Violence continues throughout a woman’s life.
Women In Need (WIN) Sri Lanka is an organization that has been set up to help victims of gender based violence (GBV). LOOPS Solutions has worked with ‘WIN’ to promote their unique 2Six4 App, through which victims of GBV and abuse can learn about their options with regard to the law and even call out for help. Their primary goal, apart from aiding victims of abuse, is to create awareness about GBV and make the public sensitive to the matter.
GBV is a serious problem that affects women all-around the world, but regardless of the suffering, this issue doesn’t seem to get the required attention, particularly in developing countries. GBV encompasses many things ranging from physical abuse to psychological abuse. These forms of abuse affect women at every stage of their lives from before birth to their adulthood.
Sadly, most perpetrators of GBV are persons well known to the victims, often their own spouses. For most women, it is a grey cloud that hangs over them throughout their whole lives – The harassment doesn’t stop at home, women are frequently harassed on the roads too.
LOOPS created the hashtag #AhNangi to create awareness about the App, street harassment, and GBV. This hashtag quickly became popular due to its insightful nature, and it stated trending on social media.
The 2Six4 App by “WIN” was created to help GBV victims seek assistance in a discrete manner. Such framework had not been created in Sri-Lanka before, and the country was in-need of one. This is essential due to the complex relationships and the social pressures a woman faces when she seeks assistance, and any failed attempt would result in violent backlash from the abusers.
Together with LOOPS the App was promoted across Sri Lanka, and now for the first time Sri-Lankan women have access to the required information to prevent harassment. The name for the App (2Six4) is inspired by the digits of the Women In Need hotline for victims – 0112671411
Through a clean and elegantly designed interface the App offers both English and Sinhala language support. Victims can also use the App to access a large array of research and educational material on GBV and related subjects. The App also features a video gallery with information relating to GBV, and women’s empowerment. The Guide-Me feature of the App provides a concise and easy-to-understand way for victims to seek assistance.
Perhaps the most significant feature of all is the Emergency Assistance feature, which also provides SOS functions. Through this feature it is possible for victims to get through to the nearest police station, hospital or contact the women & children desk. This feature can also be used to report online harassment.
Victims can keep up to five close friends on their SOS list using the App’s friend locator. In an emergency, the victim needs to tap the SOS button on the App, and their friends will be notified that the victim needs assistance along with the victim’s location.
This is the feature that we at LOOPS are most excited about, because it really has the potential to save lives and help victims of GBV when they are most in need. GBV is a serious problem, and LOOPS is grateful for being a part of this crucial movement.
WIN operates 8 crisis centres in Colombo, Matara, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Kurunegala, Batticaloa, Puttalam and Jaffna. They are also the only organization in Sri Lanka to provide a specific shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. They have also established counselling desks in hospitals and 5 police stations in Colombo, Kirulapone, Weligama, Kandy and Medawachchiya and provide comprehensive services to victims that require them.