A Survey of the Mobile Phone-Based Interventions for Violence Prevention Among Women

  • Sunny Sinha Marywood University
  • Aviral Shrivastava Arizona State University
  • Christiana Paradis Marywood University
Keywords: violence prevention, women, Cellphone-based, ICT, Information Communication Technologies, health, social work practice

Abstract

Information Communication Technologies (ICT), particularly mobile phone technology, has increased the propinquity between individuals by enhancing their ability to frequently communicate with one another through different mediums, like text, audio, video, and emojis. Cell phone technology is being used to combat various social issues, including several public health-related problems such as violence against women. Over the past two decades several cellphone-based apps, including Circle of 6, MyPlan, Panic Button, and Aspire News have been developed in several countries to prevent violence against women. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these apps are effective both as violence prevention and as an intervention tool in public as well as private spaces. However, very little awareness exists among social workers about these mobile phone applications (apps), particularly the capabilities and limitations of these apps. Based on a brief survey and classification of the existing mobile phone apps designed to prevent violence against women, this paper aims to explain how these apps work, and point out their capabilities and limitations so that social workers and public health professionals can better guide their clients in using these technology-based services. It is highly recommended that social workers evaluate how their clients are affected by the use or non-use of violence prevention apps and advocate for their client’s right to digital literacy and internet access.

Author Biography

Sunny Sinha, Marywood University

Sunny Sinha is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Marywood University, Pennsylvania, USA. She is also a Fahs-Beck scholar and has obtained her Ph.D. degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Her research and scholarship focuses on a wide range of global issues, including HIV prevention, sex work, trafficking and issues related to gender, race, clas, and sexuality. She has published mostly on the issues of non-brothel-based female sex workers in Kolkata, India. She is currently working on using male clients of female sex workers and using cell-phone based technology for violence prevention among non-brothel-based sex workers. She is also the recipient of the Michael H. AgarLively Science Award for 2018. 

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Published
2020-03-25
Section
Articles