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Currently, we see that developed countries have a hard time helping victims of domestic violence. Fortunately, smart phone devices have made it a lot easier, people are able to look up, for example, “What do I do if I am being abused?” “How do I help a friend who does not know that they are being abused?”. However, people in developing countries, do not have access to smartphones and sometimes do not even realize that they are experiencing abuse. This means they are unable to look up how to find help. This is why we created a SMS solution and a simple website called Help140.

Help140 sends SMS tips to friends and family members who are concerned about a victim. Our SMS solution is built to help a victim or the friend of a victim. If a victim contacts our SMS solution they are put in direct contact with a counsellor who will help them work through their issues. If the friend or family member of a victim contacts our SMS solution, they are given direct steps on how to communicate with the victim in a loving, supporting nature. No matter what, we want the victim to feel safe talking to their friends or family members about what is going on. We also provide a conference call with a counselor. This means the friend, the victim and the counselor can all be on the phone at the same time together.

Learn more at: Visit our website

Problem statements

Most domestic violence victims:

  • Don’t know they are victims of violence
  • Blame themselves and afraid of not having support
  • Too afraid to seek help
  • Don’t know where to find help ##Most Friends/Family of victims:
  • Sense something is wrong, but don’t know for sure
  • Don’t know how to help

There are a lot of resources for domestic violence victims to seek out. Sadly, choosing how to take the next step is often extremely difficult. These victims after all live through these hardships day in and day out.

Solution overview

The solution is a sms, website and voice service that allows supporters to

  • Figure out if their friend is a victim of domestic violence
  • Learn the tips to help their friends via SMS or a counselor
  • Connect their friends or themselves with professional counselors over anonymous phone calls (group calling)

Audience

This website/SMS system is built for women of all ages with access to a cell phone in developing countries. There are two types of audience we are building this for:

  • Their friends and family who want to help, but do not know how to
  • Victims of domestic violence who have faced abuse and either blame themselves for the violent acts or are unaware of the predicament that they are in.

Why is this solution unique?

Our service has over 2 unique features:

  • Most services out there assume the victims would seek help themselves, this is often not the case with majority of victims who don’t realize they are being abused. Our service focuses on guiding friends and family to help these victims garner the support and help that they need.
  • Lots of services are often created for smartphone users, our service caters to the majority of people who still do not have access to these devices (90% of cellphone users/developing countries).
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Updates

Grace V. Brekke posted an update

Domestic violence happens around the world. People suffer from abuse and are unaware of how to handle the situation. Besides the victim, the people most concerned are the friends and family members of the person who is getting abused. Often people who are getting abused will not reach out for help or are not aware that they are victims of domestic violence. This is where the friends and family members come in. Through SMS, Help140 educates the friends and family members by offering ways to start the conversation about the victim's abuse to attempt to resolve the issues at hand by providing guidance and counseling to fight the abuse.

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