Protecting Women from Sexual Violenc
The Iranian app Toranj was inspired by app Circle of 6, an American app designed to protect college students from sexual violence. In this version, a woman can warn her trusted circle if she is in a dangerous situation. The circle will know the exact location of the user and has options to intervene, either with a phone call or by calling the police
Using Apps to Fight Iranian Regime.
In Iran, approximately 63 percent of all women are subject to verbal, sexual, or psychological abuse, and most women do not report this to the authorities for reasons varying from guilt, or fear of economic hardship. But technology is trying to come to the rescue: Toranj mimics Circle of 6 to suit Iran's context, and has information similar to that present in HamDam.
The app was developed in collaboration with Kurdish lawyer Shadi Shad, who has been working with victims of abuse. What made matters worse, she told me, was "the lack of social education and disregard for this type of behaviour that permeates within Iranian society—a self-inflicted ignorance which helps perpetuate a pattern of misplaced justification for abusive partners."
A user, who is a doctor, sent a heartfelt letter to Toranj's team describing her experience as an abused wife for 20 years. While she preferred to remain anonymous, her testimony serves as a proof that technology can be used to tackle social and human rights issues.