By Vanessa Obioha
Harnessing the reach and connectivity of mobile applications in providing a seamless experience, the THR media at its recent event titled: ‘Proffering Solution to Sexual Gender Based Violence,’ launched a social mobile application known as HERfessions.
The app affords its users an anonymous platform for peer-to-peer interactions and also provides technical support through trained psychiatrics, lawyers and officers to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence; connecting them to numerous stakeholders who are invested in educating, supporting, and counselling victims.
Based on the need to connect women and girls going through some of the negative psychological effects inflicted on them through physical abuse, creator of the application Osasumwen Paul-Azino, noted the importance of the app in improving the mental health of women and girls going through the trauma associated with gender based violence.
“It’s a women and girls’ mobile application because we are particular about providing the proper value chain for gender based violence.
“Yes, we advocate for a change, we have ensured that women get safe space but we also need to find platforms that address mental health issues because it is a public health issue and we need to be able to address them.
“So, we thought this mobile app will give these women an anonymity where they are able to talk about their issues without fear of being criticised or judged,” she said.
Preceding the launch, a panel was set up to highlight some of the limiting factors peculiar to and facing the female folks in the society today, and some of ways in which women can get their voices to be heard.
Simi Olusola, Adenrera Olayinka Adeyemi, Mbanefo Perpetua and Gbonjubola Babalola comprised the panel.
In the near future, Paul-Azino hopes to expand the scope of the app to accommodate the male counterparts by way of extending some of its services to men and boys who have also experienced sexual assaults and domestic violence. She believes that such experiences can be replicated in relationships of men scarred by the experience.
“The idea is to bring everybody together in the collaboration. Boys also get raped. One of the things that we leave out is that when gender based violence happen, particularly between intimate partners or domestic violence, children are usually part of the story.
It is almost like secondary trauma because whether male or female, you see the trauma and then you replicate it in your life, or in your relationship.
“There are stakeholders who attend to the men and the boys in the spectrum, and we hope that as we start –this is a first step for us– we are able to integrate men and boys,” she declared.