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Personal Protection App

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will develop a personal protection app linking at-risk individuals directly to SAPOL and family violence services.

The Problem

In Australia, one in six women experience intimate partner violence, with more than one woman killed by her partner or ex-partner every week.

In South Australia, SAPOL reporting showed 25,029 domestic violence matters were reported in 2016. This is three an hour, 69 per day and 480 per week.

Domestic violence is often hidden, with victims too scared to speak to those even closest to them and, while there is information on a variety of government and non-government services available, this information is often fragmented across different websites and printed resources making it difficult for women at risk to access this information.

There is also no easy and quick way for women to notify the police or trusted individuals if they are in danger and are unable to make a phone call.

This is particularly concerning given more than 3,305 intervention orders were breached in 2015/16.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will develop a personal protection app linking at-risk individuals directly to SAPOL and family violence services.

Evidence shows that the vast majority of domestic violence occurs within the home and often women flee with only their immediate personal belongings, including their smart phone.

An easy to use app will enhance safety by giving victims, or those at risk of domestic violence, access to emergency assistance, even when they are unable to make a phone call, while also providing vital information on what services are available safely and quickly at any time.

An app with this capability has already been developed by the NSW Liberal Government in consultation with the NSW police and experts from the domestic and family violence sector, with our app to be modelled on this design.

The NSW app has a unique messaging tool which allows the user to privately and safely call for help if under duress and the ‘message friends’ section allows users to quickly send an SMS to a trusted friend or family member when they are feeling threatened or harassed.

A choice of three in-built messages - ‘Call me’, ‘Come and pick me up’ and ‘Call the police for me’ - can be instantly communicated in emergencies with three quick taps of a phone screen.

It is important that an app of this nature can be used discreetly and we will work closely with SAPOL and domestic violence stakeholders to ensure that our app can be used safely, without tipping off a perpetrator.

This includes developing guidelines and safety precautions for service providers who are considering referring an at-risk individual to the app, prompting them to check whether the perpetrator has access to the phone.

Information that will be accessible via the app will include:

  • Emergency contacts
  • Information and links to support services, including emergency accommodation
  • Information on what behaviour is considered domestic violence

Importantly, this information can be obtained anonymously and in one place.

This app will form part of the Keeping Women Safe in Their Homes program and is just one of the ways a Marshall Liberal Government will act to address the issue of domestic violence.

The app will be free to download.

Part of our plan for SA