Vodafone Romania Foundation is launching Bright Sky Ro app, a free digital tool that supports victims of domestic abuse, providing assistance and useful information to people in an abusive relationship or to those who want to help such cases.
The app was originally developed by the Vodafone Foundation Group and subsequently adjusted for Romania in partnership with the Romanian Police, “Necuvinte” Association and “Code for Romania” Association. Bright Sky Ro is available in App Store and Google Play Store in Romanian, English and Hungarian.
Bright Sky Ro has, essentially, an informational and educational role, as it describes the categories of gender-based violence, dispels the myths related to this phenomenon and allows the user to assess the security of a relationship by simply filling out an electronic form. The application also provides a database of support services, so that the user can contact the nearest available service in their area. In addition to this, the app’s menu allows users’ access to information about the causes and consequences of abuse, the safety plan and the legal provisions that can protect a victim of domestic abuse (the provisional protection order given by the police and the protection order given by the court), as well as the measures that can be taken to improve online safety.
Bright Sky Ro offers the possibility to record incidents in a confidential digital diary, at an email address that is chosen by the victim, through a function that uses text, audio, video and photo content. The information gathered by the victim in this diary can serve as evidence in court. The app provides useful information and advice related to consent in sexual relationships and harassment, as well as case studies that present examples of different abusive behaviors most frequently found in intimate relationships.
The need for such a project is grounded in the fact that over 80% of Romanians consider violence against women as a widespread national phenomenon. During 2019 alone, nationally, the police issued 7,986 provisional protection orders, of which 2,958 were turned into protection orders*. Also last year, the courts issued 7,899 protection orders, most of them at victims’ request. After the initial launch in the UK in 2018, Vodafone Foundation Group took the initiative to introduce the Bright Sky app in all countries with Vodafone subsidiaries. Currently, Romania is the fourth country where this app is available, after UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic. Vodafone Romania Foundation has worked with local partners to develop and adjust the content of the app, so that it relates to the local reality and legislation.