The government introduced a new mobile app that provides emergency support to victims of domestic violence. Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu unveiled the app in a ceremony yesterday in the capital Ankara, a few months after the app was tested in some cities.
The Women Emergency Assistance Notification System (KADES) app can be installed on smartphones using IOS and Android operating systems. Users log in to the app by providing a number of details, including their phone numbers and are asked to keep the phone's GPS feature open. Once logged in, they can notify the police just by clicking the "help" button that automatically send their location details to the police.
Domestic violence and the murder of women by their husbands, partners and relatives have long been thorns in Turkey's side where broader media coverage in recent years has made this scar on society even more visible. The Family and Social Affairs Ministry has been taking action to tackle the problem by providing education courses, raising public awareness and empowering women, as more economic independence helps more women who fear divorce from violent spouses would deprive them of a steady income.
Interior Minister Soylu said they had seen a drop in deaths in cases of violence towards women. "There is a 39 percent drop in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period last year," Soylu said.
Minister Soylu said that the app seeks to decrease response time in cases of domestic violence. The app has been in a test phase since March 24, and so far, 24,584 users have downloaded it. Soylu said 31 women so far have used the help button and police successfully intervened in cases of violence. "It takes an average of five minutes to respond to such cases for police," the minister said. The Interior Ministry also recently set up special desks to handle cases of domestic violence. Figures show authorities provided protection to 27,400 women in the first four months of this year against domestic violence, while 37,147 men received restraining orders.