Even though the recent pandemic and nationwide lockdown hurt the economy and drove people into their homes for long periods of time, many innovations have sprouted for the greater good of the people of South Africa. This is especially true of MiVoice, a new app dedicated to helping people affected by gender-based violence.
MiVoice is a newly launched app that “… offers emergency support and multi-directional communication to SA Women Fight Back members, volunteers, and supporters.” It was created by a group of women who are pushing for societal change, in a bid to help people who may find themselves in toxic or violent situations across the country. This was exacerbated during lockdown, where victims were forced to live in potentially harmful environments.
In June, Pres Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the increase of GBV during lockdown Level 3, citing a few specific cases that could have ended differently, if someone had intervened. This is exactly why an app like MiVoice is important for South African communities.
How it works
The MiVoice app is available to download from both the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store, and features a few key tools that can help someone who may be at risk of being a victim, or someone who was a victim.
Within the app, users have the ability to add up to five emergency contacts as ‘Angels’. These contacts will be messaged, along with push notifications, after you activate an emergency through the app. Your location will be shared with the emergency contacts.
Another key feature is the ability to create ‘emergency groups’, which will open a chat with the Angels when you activate an emergency. In this chat, you’ll be able to send evidence of the attack in the form of images or chat messages. If you’re part of the SA Women Fight Back group, your chat will also include an admin of that group who can mobilise authorities at the touch of a button.
“When you have an emergency, you, your I.C.E. Angels, the 5 closest Volunteer Angels within a 20 km radius of you and our administrator are all in the secure chat room,” the SAWFB website details.
The app is still in its infancy, and the developers plan to bring far more functionality to the app in future, which includes secure payments, improved emergency assistance and community-based features. Download the app from the Play Store here and the iOS Store here, and make sure you’ve always got back u