Joe Slovo Foundation joins race to develop anti-GBV tech solutions

Human rights group the Joe Slovo Foundation is joining forces with tech NPO Empire Partner Foundation (EPF) and Afri-Tec Technologies to create a gender-based-violence (GBV) database, which will be used to develop tech solutions to help stop violence against women and children.

The three are collaborating with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to collect continuous anonymised data at the grassroots level (victim, bystander, clinic, school, university and hospital), combining it with ‘heat-mapping’ as per the globally successful ‘Cardiff Violence Prevention Model’.

This data will be instrumental in creating a GBV database, which will provide SALGA and national government with data to understand in detail the deadly scourge of GBV. This will be done on a monthly basis.

Data collected will be key in assisting authorities to determine preventative measures at local government level against GBV, monitor and evaluate interventions.

Martin Dolny, director of programmes and products at the Joe Slovo Foundation, comments: “This will be enabling a grassroots practical response to GBV – if we want to stop violence in general and especially GBV, we need to know when and where it is specifically happening.

“We encourage mobile app developers to join us in combing data to fighting the GBV pandemic in a similar way [to how] we have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The more we know, the more we can isolate, the more we can eliminate.”

The partnership announced today was first mooted a year ago when the Joe Slovo Foundation approached the EPF and Afri-Tec Technologies, which were already collating violent crime stats and pioneering tech solutions to combat GBV, to work together in seeking a lasting solution by gathering and obtaining more accurate data on GBV.

The EPF and Afri-Tec recently launched the Afri-Tec Alert Safety App, which encompasses multiple safety features, including on GBV-Femicide.

The app has been well received on the market from a safety point of view by NGOs that deal with the deadly scourge of GBV-F.

"The disruptive nature of technology is exactly what’s required right now. Now it is time to act,” says Ninel Musson, spokeswoman for the #EndGBV-F campaign.

In a statement, the EPF says: “Using tech-driven applications like the Afri-Tec Alert app will promote community involvement in assisting victims of GBV or preventing vulnerable women and children from becoming victims of GBV.”

Dolny adds: “We encourage all South Africans (male and female) to download the Afri-Tec Alert app and use it – not just as protection for themselves, but for others too. If you see someone in trouble, use the app.”

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