Palestine – No fears of reprisal or shame when use anti-violence “Masahatuna” application

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Title: Palestine – No fears of reprisal or shame when use anti-violence “Masahatuna” application

Location: Palestine, Gaza

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:06:12

Voice: Natural

Source: A24 in Gaza

Restriction: A24 subscribers

Date: 08/06/2022

Storyline:

Women fearing to report domestic violence against them in Gaza pushed a Palestinian computer engineer to develop an application that allow them to register with the service without revealing their names.

The phone app by Alaa Huthut helps a growing number of women in Gaza seek help from fourteen Womencare Counseling institutions without going directly to the authorities.

The “Masahatuna” or “Our Spaces” app aims at providing women and girls a way out of local community where family pressures keep much domestic violence under wraps. 

Alaa spoke to A24 News Agency’s reporter Mohammed Al-Najjar and called for adopting and spreading the idea to reduce the global phenomenon.

According to the Community Media Center in Gaza, fifty percent of women in the Strip are exposed to domestic violence.

Women’s groups said the problem was exacerbated during the closure due to the Covid-19 Corona pandemic.

The project manager at the Community Media Center, Kholoud Al-Sawalmeh, said nearly four hundred women downloaded the application; one hundred and seventy of them contacted centers that provide psychological and legal support.

Shot list:

Soundbite (Ala’a  Huthut – Computer engineer and application co-designer):

“With the increasing cases of violence against women, the Community Media Center, which is concerned with women’s issues, decided to launch the application. It aims to facilitate the victims’ access to various family service centers. We focused on making the app easy to use to serve the target group. We tested the app and then held sessions with the women to teach them how to use the app. The application includes the “Quick Numbers” feature, in case the woman is stressed, to link her to the specialized center. Women will need to answer a range of questions to direct them to the appropriate center that best suits their situation. Confidentiality and privacy were our focus while developing the app as women are afraid to go to a specific center or institution for a consultation. Violence against women is a global issue. I hope that everyone will adopt the idea and spread it in order to reduce and eliminate cases of violence once and for all.”

Soundbite (Kholoud Al-Sawalmeh – Project Manager at the Community Media Center):

“Violence against women in Gaza is increasing. Fifty percent of women have been subjected to violence. The application allows women to access institutions that provide consulting services. More than four hundred women have used the app so far, of whom about one hundred and seventy have contacted thirteen organizations. One woman reported being forced into early marriage, subjected to domestic violence, and facing threats. Through the application, she was able to communicate with one of the institutions that provided the required services. Another case from Khan Yunis governorate was at risk. She contacted one of the centers on the app that helped her and handled her issue appropriately.”

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