Free Violence Response Hotline Launches in Haiti to Support Victims of Sexual Assault

It’s incredible how far technology has come and how many innovative ways we can use it for good. Take for example the “Fight Back” phone app that was recently launched in New Delhi to help women fend off potential attackers with their phone.

Now in Haiti an organization called Digital Democracy, a New York-based non-profit working globally to empower marginalized communities to use technology to fight for their human rights, is launching the only phone-based emergency response system dedicated to rape and sexual assault. With KOFAVIV, the Commission for Women Victims for Victims, the two have designed, tested, and launched the Call Center which will serve like the American 911 system for reporting emergencies.  The Call Center, the first of its kind in Haiti, can be reached by dialing 572.

The Call Center is part of Digital Democracy’s commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to use technology to address rape and gender-based violence with women in Haiti. The goal of the Call Center is to help bring emergency care to victims in Port-Au-Prince which escalated after the earthquake in January 2010.

On the one hand, the Call Center will provide victims with urgent medical care to help prevent the transmission of disease, HIV/AIDS, and unwanted pregnancy.  Additionally, the Call Center will collect data from the emergency calls to generate monthly reports on incidents and maps of dangerous areas to share with the government and international bodies.

“When we first started working with Haitian women leaders, there was no accurate information on the increasing rates of sexual violence in the tent-camps,” explains Emily Jacobi, Executive Director of Digital Democracy. “The Call Center is a key component of an information management system we built with KOFAVIV to accurately capture data on the real scope of the problem, and get urgent preventative care to the most vulnerable cases.”

Without access to a 911 type Call Center for reporting emergencies coupled with the increasing violence against women following the earthquake, the Call Center is necessary now more than ever. Reports of sexual violence against women in the makeshift camps created after the quake were devastating and continue today. Hopefully the Call Center will serve as a useful tool to keep the women of Haiti safer as the country rebuilds.


Related from Care2:

There’s an App For That: Fight Back App Protects Women in New Delhi

Abortion After A Rape Is Not Like Murdering Your Mother’s Killer

1 in 10 Women in Norway Has Been Raped


Photo credit: Photo by Dominik Syka used under a Creative Commons


Thubten Chokyi
Jenny Dooley5 years ago

Thank you for bringing us this important information, Ximena. I hope the situation in Haiti has been helped by the introduction of this support system.

Janine H.
Janine H6 years ago

Always when i hear about terrible things it makes me sad, and i cannot understand how someone could do something terrible - bully, hurt, rape or kill a person or animal. When i was a child this also happened to me... and surviving this is more terrible than not (parents and other may think different, but a victim?), living with all this pain... living with guilty feelings... full with hate for the own self... having one wish, not to wake up at the following day anymore...
No one can understand, because most people cannot imagine this, cannot imagine how much it change. Some of them think, that this would not be so terrible, because all would make some sexual experiences, and so it would not matter if there were some without own interest or wish. This cruel and superficial society makes me sick.

I know that it is not good to wish someone who does terrible things something as a punishment. But when i hear about violent people then i think why are they so "afraid" to go to someone equal and get some hits for their selves. This is a perversion, to think being more a man when beating a woman or a girl. This men are a shame for all normal men.

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Anneke Andries
Anneke A6 years ago

it's a start

Cathy Noftz
Cathy Noftz6 years ago

~It's about time someone is trying to help!~Although this won't dramatically decrease the number of sexual assaults, I believe it is a good way to discourage assaults!~

Myriam G.
Myriam G6 years ago

Lots of Love, sisters

Magdalena K.
Past Member 6 years ago


Gloria Morotti
Gloria Morotti6 years ago

'Bout time. Lets keep going.

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta6 years ago

I think this system will help if it is not abused, very good idea :-)

Valarie Snell
Valarie Snell6 years ago

good article

Richard Zane Smith

yes, It might be helpful...if women can afford to own cell phones.

As far as the MAIN problem about how to STOP RAPE?
We ALL really must return to women the status of sacred personhood.
Its got to come from a changed mind, a changed inner value system.
These old social Patriarchal systems(as in USA) and many major countries
in the world simply do not honor women as sacred. In a male dominant context women are given recognition only if they are sexy,caretakers OR can be a meaner, more aggressive,more competitive, more of a vicious fighter as a man...

Stuffing people in prison gets abusers off the streets,but really doesn't cure the problem.
Educating children will help, but nothing will really change until MEN change.
MEN simply have to start HONORING WOMEN and stop treating them as objects, competition, or throw away sex toys. LIVING EXAMPLES of strong healthy trusting relationships will teach generations of children more than any school lessons could ever do.

I know i keep harping on this but
wise Women need to be the very core,the heart of any lasting and sustainable society.
What we have now is a patriarchal conquest culture that tears up the world as it advances
and that means tearing up women too...if they get in the way of "progress" or don't "serve" the patriarchal system and its conquest "growth at all cost" agendas.