NewsLocalNew app for abuse victims

New app for abuse victims

A new mobile app that victims of abuse can use in emergencies to contact police will be ready in the next few days, a special advisor to the government on child protection told CNA.

Anastasia Papadopoulou is president the NGO Foni, set up to combat child abuse.

She said that the House of Child is continuing to operate as normal and therapy sessions, as elsewhere, rely on technology.

Papadopoulou said the council was working with Cyta and police to create an SOS app for victims to use if they need the immediate intervention of police.

This should be ready within the next few days.

NGOs have spoken of a spike in domestic violence cases as a result of the lockdown while police have warned of abuse and exploitation online.

“Parents should realise that their children are not safe just because they are home and the increase exposure to the internet has increased the risk of exploitation,” she said.

Victims are locked in with the perpetrators and cannot reach out for help. Moreover, the closure of schools means that one of the biggest channels through which children would alert their teachers they were being abused or teachers would see the signs for themselves is not available, she added.

It is difficult for teachers to detect problems through online lessons, and difficult also for children to reveal it.

Moreover, children in primary schools do not have this access. Teachers try to stay in touch with their pupils, but it is difficult to do much more, she said.

The help lines and the chat line are also working normally through the website of Foni as well as through Hope for Children which has a helpline on a 24 hour basis.

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