South African non-profit organisation (NPO) Kwanele plans to use technology to connect victims of gender-based violence (GBV)to immediate assistance and further support, including a chatbot to break down legal processes.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’.
Along those lines, Kwanele will be releasing its mobile app.
It aims to empower women in communities plagued by violence by enabling them to access help fast and ensure the collection of admissible evidence.
The Kwanele Mobile Application is free to download and costs no data to use. Directed at helping victims of gender-based violence, the app has several features to assist during and after an emergency.
The app comes with a panic button to alert friends or armed responders if you need help.
The app uses your location to find the closest possible responders. Importantly, the app provides an easy way to securely store videos and audio recordings.
It will also provide you with a list of local services and crisis centres, alongside a step-by-step guide of how to access help. Aside from providing immediate assistance, Kwanele also focuses on guiding victims through the process of laying a charge and getting a conviction.
Kwanele has a live chat service operated by people experienced in trauma containment and with an understanding of judicial processes. But the app will soon be using a chatbot to help victims navigate the legal system. The bot has been trained to take GBV-related legislation and break it down into accessible language.
Rather than a general-purpose summarising, Kwanele claims they have trained the system in partnership with young people in Gugulethu and the Oscar Mpetha High School in Nyanga.
The purpose of this is to make sure the bot is fluent in the way language is used by local young people and women.
This is important, both for understanding people when they are trying to get help and, to effectively communicate technical laws.
While the app will be released on the 8th of March, Kwanele has stated that the chatbot feature is expected to be available from June.