Safeline launches app for victims of sexual violence

Safeline has launched the UK’s first mobile app to improve access to independent, specialist support for victims of sexual violence crimes.

What is the Safeline app?

The Safeline app is free to download on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and enables victims of sexual violence crimes in Warwickshire to access an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), who can offer independent, specialist practical and emotional support, quickly, easily, discreetly, and safely.

Who is the app’s target audience?

The Safeline App is for victims of sexual violence crimes who want to access specialist support and advice directly and who want support on deciding whether they want to report the abuse to the Police or support when they are going through the criminal justice process.

It is also for all agencies, (Police, Witness Services, GPs, social workers etc.,), who are involved in helping victims of sexual violence access specialist support.

Why is it needed?

Not all victims of sexual violence crimes want to or find it necessary to report crimes to the Criminal Justice system, or other agencies.

Many victims feel that specialist service providers like Safeline are the only services they need and feel comfortable working with. However, it is very common for victims to delay disclosing their trauma, if indeed they ever do, (On average Safeline clients wait between 20-30 years before they seek specialist support). Many reasons are cited for this, victims do not want family/friends to know, many do not know how to access support, or it’s because it’s a very personal matter.

This app has been created to help overcome many of these barriers and to make it quicker and easier for victims to access the right support and advice. This will help victims with the devasting impact of sexual violence and help them decide if they want to report to the Police.

Only 1 in 6 victims of sexual violence crimes ever report the abuse to the Police, many fear the criminal justice system, and feel the criminal justice process re-victimises them. Some victims feel the crime is not serious enough, or they believe that the Police will not help them or believe them because there is not enough evidence. The very low prosecution rates can also discourage victims from reporting[1].

Safeline developed the app, to enable agencies and individuals to refer victims to independent, specialist support within seconds of the victim consenting to do so.  Sometimes it can take weeks for agencies to complete their paperwork and make a referral, during which time the victim is unsupported. This can have a devastating impact on their mental health and their ability to make informed decisions about what to
do. It is during this period that many victims decide not to proceed.

It will take an average of 15 seconds for an agency or an individual to submit a referral using Safeline’s app.

Rapid access to independent, specialist support, provides victims with emotional and practical help when they most need it. It also allows our staff to address any issues and concerns the victim might have about reporting the crime to the Police. Clients will be contacted within 24 hours or sooner to discuss their support arrangements.

It is hoped that by giving victims quicker access to independent, specialist support, more victims who are referred to specialist agencies like Safeline by the Police, will report more, will remain supported within in the criminal justice system and more perpetrators will be held to account.

The app has been developed by Safeline, in partnership with Red C, an award-winning mobile app development agency who has created and deployed the app free of charge.

The Safeline app, is intended for victims of sexual violence crimes in Warwickshire, however, we would like to see all specialist agencies and UK Police forces adopt similar processes via a simple and intuitive app to dramatically improve victim support. Any specialist support agencies, or organisations who wish to implement something similar, should approach Red C, who are able to rebrand it and adapt it for use anywhere in the UK, to transform access to support, and improve the victim experience.

We intend to further develop the app by making it available in different languages.

How do you install the Safeline app?

The Safeline app is free to download on both iOS and Android devices on the App Store and Google Play Store.

App Store 

Google Play

Comment

“Sexual violence crimes are growing at an alarming rate. Becoming a victim is a deeply traumatic experience, often leaving scars, physical and mental, that linger for many years after the event. We must make it easier for people who have suffered such a crime to cope, recover and move on with rebuilding their lives. Using technology to improve a victim’s access to independent, specialist support, would be a significant step forward for the criminal justice system and for victims themselves and one that could make a very real difference to countless lives for many years to come’’

Neil Henderson, CEO of Safeline.

About Safeline

Safeline is an independent charity that helps prevent sexual abuse and rape and provides free, specialist, tailored non-time limited support, for anyone affected including friends and family. We support everyone regardless of age (aged 3 and above), gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or political views. Our comprehensive range of services include:

  • Specialist face-to face, telephone, online counselling and psychotherapy, group work and creative therapies.
  • Prevention/Early Intervention Services to help prevent child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation (CSE).
  • Specialist national (England & Wales) helpline and online support and telephone/Online counselling services.
  • Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) provide emotional and practical support to those who have experienced sexual abuse and rape, regardless of whether they have reported the abuse to the Police.
  • Specialist Training Services for professionals/teachers/public officials.

 

About Red C

Red C is an award-winning mobile app and web development agency with offices in both Shoreditch and Leamington Spa. Red C is one of the longest-serving design and development agencies in the UK. They have been providing leading enterprises and organisations with advanced digital technology that transforms business processes for almost two decades, facilitating positive change and efficiency with industry-leading technology.

Red C have worked with a number of non-profit organisations over the years to help increase supporter advocacy by enhancing visibility, especially amongst a generation of younger users.

Non-profit mobile apps help to widen accessibility, enabling those in need of support and advice to access the resources they need quickly and easily. We partnered with Safeline to design and develop the Safeline mobile app in the hopes of transforming the victim experience by widening accessibility to support and streamlining processes for Safeline, the Police and other referral agencies, ensuring they are able to respond to all victim referrals as quickly as possible.

Contact

020 3637 6756

www.red-c.co.uk

[1] According to the Crown Prosecution Service’s Violence Against Women and Girls report, rape figures from 2017 to 2019 showed that the number of suspects referred for a charge of rape by the police has fallen by 22.8%. Charges for rape have fallen by 38%, prosecutions have fallen by 32.8% and the number of convictions has fallen by 26.9%.


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