Today, the Vodafone Foundation and the Portuguese Family Planning Association (APF) are launching the Bright Sky Application in Portugal, with the support of the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG).
The Bright Sky Portugal APP's main objective is to reach two important target audiences to minimise the impact of domestic violence in Portuguese society: the public, by raising awareness about the matters and outlines related to this issue; and victims of domestic violence, by making available information that is useful to them specifically.
Bright Sky Portugal was presented in a ceremony that was attended by Rosa Monteiro, the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, and Mário Vaz, President of the Vodafone Foundation, with the participation of entities involved in matters of domestic violence.
This initiative by the Vodafone Foundation and APF came about in a context in which the pandemic is exacerbating existing situations of domestic violence, making it essential to reinforce means of support, awareness and information for victims.
Until June, according to data shared by the Portuguese Government, 10 people died due to domestic violence (7 women, 1 child and 2 men). The Executive’s indicators also revealed that during the period of social isolation, and the Country’s states of emergency and calamity, the National Support Network for Victims of Domestic Violence registered a total of 24,672 consultations. We note that during this period the 3060 SMS line was launched, created by the Vodafone Foundation, for free and without requiring registration, so that victims can send text requests for help. This line received around 220 requests for help from March to September.
Making society aware of the need to fight this phenomenon is an essential measure to help prevent its occurrence, end all types of domestic violence, encourage the reporting of this crime, and contribute to the protection of the rights of victims in all areas.
“Bright Sky Portugal is an innovative mobile application in the Portuguese market in terms of information and awareness-raising on matters of domestic violence. This initiative is another step along the path Vodafone has embarked on in the area of Diversity and Inclusion, and its ambition to leave nobody behind in this digital era. This project shows, once again, how we mould technology to put it at the service of Society, particularly in the integration of more vulnerable groups”, affirms Mário Vaz, CEO of Vodafone Portugal and President of the Portugal Vodafone Foundation.
Important information about the Bright Sky APP
The Bright Sky Portugal application allows users to locate, in a fast and intuitive way, a list of contacts of the closest support services, through their current location or by inserting the county, city, or post code.
Besides important and reliable information, Bright Sky Portugal also provides risk assessment questionnaires, allowing family members or friends to assess the type of relationship someone close to them may be in, and if it can be considered an at-risk situation, with recommendations and advice supplied according to the responses given.
People who are victims of domestic violence may intuitively access the operating system functionalities of their telephones to make text, voice, or audio records to build a diary of situations of abuse they have suffered. The records made through this function of the Bright Sky Portugal App will not be saved on the application, nor on the mobile phone. They will be sent to an email address defined by the user of the application.
Another feature of the Bright Sky Portugal App is a guide to digital security, with tips and advice which help increase the online safety and resilience of people who are victims of domestic violence as users of new technology.
About the Vodafone Foundation Portugal
The Vodafone Foundation Portugal is a self-funded non-profit entity, created with the aim of contributing to the development of the Information Society, to fighting info-exclusion, and disseminating technology to improve people’s quality.
Since it was created in April 2001, the Foundation has supported projects in areas such as Health, Education, Safety, and the Information Society, and is focused on the development of technological solutions and programmes that help to prevent anyone getting left behind, especially more vulnerable groups, in this digital society.
Vodafone Foundation Portugal’s involvement in the programmes starts at an embryonic phase, by identifying and specifying the needs of its Partners, and then in the phases of planning, development and monitoring the programmes, to guarantee their efficacy and sustainability, always in cooperation with external entities, namely non-governmental groups and/or public bodies.