Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Every year, one in five women between the ages of 15 and 49 reports about violence. New evidence suggests that the threat of violence against women and girls has increased since the outbreak of the pandemic. Due to quarantine restrictions, many victims of violence may not have received adequate assistance at the right time. In Uzbekistan, in January-September 2020, 14,849 appeals were received at the rehabilitation and adaptation centers for persons affected by violence.

UN-Women has developed a swift and targeted response to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women and girls and to ensure that long-term recovery benefits them. One of the main measures is to mitigate and reduce gender-based violence, including domestic violence.

During the UN campaign "16 days of activism against gender-based violence" by the Gender Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry for the Support of Mahalla and Family and the United Nations Development Program, as part of the support of the Government of Sweden in frame of the joint project "Empowering women to participate in public administration and socio-economic life”, a mobile application “Najot” was developed, the main purpose of which is to protect the rights of victims of violence and provide them with timely assistance.

On the main page of the application there is a "Help Button" which is intended for emergency situations. If the user has become a victim of domestic violence, then the button should be pressed and held for more than 3 seconds. The application will send a message to the victim's family for help and a link to the location.

In order to use the "Help" button, contacts of relatives or close ones should be added and a message about help typed in the "Help Contacts" section. Up to 5 contacts of relatives who can respond to a message for help can be added. It is recommended to warn these people about the app in advance.

Also, the user can select the option "Notify the nearest help center", if necessary, so that a notification about the danger for the user is sent to the nearest rehabilitation center.

There is also “Help Centers” section in the app which has information about places, where user can go for help with family problems, report domestic violence or in emergency cases. In these centers, victims of violence can get help from a psychologist, doctor, lawyer or sheltered accommodation if needed.

The app contains a list of centers for the rehabilitation in each region. Having chosen the necessary area, user can get information about the address and contacts of such centers. Also, for navigation, the address of the help centers on the map is given.

Through the application, user can get online help from a psychologist, consultations from a doctor and a lawyer in difficult situations.

The “Important to know” section contains answers to the most common questions about women's health, legal basis for protecting women's rights, family relations, legal issues and others. Also, there are instructions on how to get a protective order. In addition, the user can take tests to determine the type of violence or to understand what violence is.

In this section, the user can take a test and determine the violence towards herself/himself and understand whether he/she needs a help. For example, if there are many answers "often" and "constantly", then the problem of domestic violence is acute in the user's family.

Until receiving any assistance no matter where and how: all information provided by the user on the occasion will be confidential.

This application is available in Uzbek and Russian. The app will be available for download on the PlayStore soon.

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