For women hoping to escape an abusive relationship, the challenge of calling the police and appearing in front of court can seem like a daunting task. However, with a new mobile app released by The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's App Brewery and the Sojourner Family Peace Center, things just got a whole lot easier.
The app is called Sojourner Family Peace Center and is designed to provide a list of legal services, non-emergency law enforcement and shelters that can provide housing on short notice. The only thing the app does not provide is a phone call directly to police.
By providing information in a time of crisis, the app shares information with those who are most in need. It also inspires others to change their situation before disaster erupts.
"There's a lot of information that you might need to know, as well as contacts," said Carmen Pitre, Sojourner's executive director. "You'd have to know about safety, about all of the systems that might be impacting your life as a victim of domestic violence."
It's also useful for loved ones who want to provide information and alternatives for the person that is experiencing abuse. According to Milwaukee police Capt. James Shepard, victims of domestic violence are more likely to tell their friends, rather than police. The app promotes conversations about escaping the cycle of abuse and also lets women know that there are other options out there.
"I wish this app was actually here when I was going through my problems that I had," said Granada, a survivor of domestic violence and a former client of Sojourner Family Peace Center. "This app gives direct links to shelter and a 24-hour hotlines."