App posing as a calculator features secret emergency functions

World Today

Colombia is struggling to combat its high rate of violence against women, especially in domestic settings. Figures show six women are abused by a spouse or partner, every hour.

In Bogota, officials have launched a new app with a secret code, hoping to empower victims.

CGTN’s Michelle Begue reports.

App posing as a calculator features secret emergency functions

App posing as a calculator features secret emergency functions

Colombia is struggling to combat its high rate of violence against women, especially in domestic settings. Figures show six women are abused by a spouse or partner - every hour. In Bogota, officials have launched a new app with a secret code, hoping to empower victims.
Download Video

This smartphone application called, SofiaAPP, functions like a regular calculator. But by putting in a secret code, the app could save lives.

“Women who suffer from violence are usually tightly controlled by their partner or different people, so it appears like this but you introduce a code so you can enter the app,” Gleidy Jerez from the Bogota Office for Women’s Rights said.

Once activated, SofiaApp quickly connects women to police and emergency phone numbers. With just a tap of a button, an alert can be sent to three of your pre-registered contacts. It also connects you to a 24/7 hotline in Bogota for victims of gender violence.

According to official figures for Bogota, more than 10,600 women were victims of violence by their intimate partners last year. That’s 29 assaults a day. And every three days a woman was killed. Developed by Bogota’s office for women’s rights, officials wanted to give victims a tool that would get them the help and resources they need.

And, officials said, they hope the app will reach even those victims who have previously remained silent.