Anti-violence mobile app a first for Bega Valley

Liam O’Duibhir of 2pi Software with Caroline Long and Cheryl Nelson of South East Women and Children’s Services celebrate the successful release of mobile app Safe Around Me.

Liam O’Duibhir of 2pi Software with Caroline Long and Cheryl Nelson of South East Women and Children’s Services celebrate the successful release of mobile app Safe Around Me.

A MOBILE app designed to help keep women safe from violence is being celebrated as the first to be created wholly in the Bega Valley.

Safe Around Me was developed in Bega by 2pi Software after a proposal by the South East Women and Children’s Services (SEWACS).

“It’s about helping women to recognise domestic and family violence, as well as giving them some tips to help keep them safer at work, home and while shopping,” SEWACS executive officer Cheryl Nelson said. 

“Our plan was to put our existing and very popular Safety Planning Booklet that the SEWACS Staying Home Leaving Violence produced into an app.

“We also saw this as an opportunity to update the content, [and] include more recent info on internet and cyber stalking. 

“We then had the idea to use a location aware directory of services so that people who need support services can easily access them wherever they are.”

Ms Nelson said the aim of the app is to “give awareness in the local community of safety issues woman face in everyday life”.

It provides safety planning information written by SEWACS Staying Home Leaving Violence program manager Caroline Long, and contains a list of support services in the southern area of NSW. 

Safe Around Me was released recently on both Google Play and the iTunes Store, and Ms Nelson said she has had a lot of interest in it already. 

The team who made the app included 2pi Software director Liam O’Duibhir, Carsten Ecklemann, Adam Buckley and Darryl Butler.

“It’s very exciting for us,” Mr O’Duibhir said. 

Funding was provided by the NSW Family and Community Services and it took five months to create.

Mr O’Duibhir said there were enough skills on the team to deliver a “very, very good result”.

There were four elements to making the app, which were getting the content ready, finalising technical issues, wrapping it up for stores and getting stores to accept it. 

The app attaches to the Safe Around Me website, and being able to work on both Android and iPhone devices was important to make as a feature, Mr O’Duibhir said. 

“Mobiles are becoming increasingly important,” Mr O’Duibhir said. 

He said it has been predicted mobile phones will be used more than laptop computers within the next 12 months. 

One of the factors of making the app was preparing the environment for SEWACS, so while the organisation was filling in the content, what they saw was exactly what they would see on the phone in the finished product.

Mr O’Duibhir said companies in the region will see they do not have to source developers far away if they want a mobile app created for them.

“We think it sets a lovely precedent,” he said. 

Safe Around Me can be downloaded for free from iTunes, Google Play or the SEWACS website and a launch will be held in July. 

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