Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania is getting techie.
The area nonprofit, which serves men, women and children in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties, announced earlier this month it has partnered with woman-owned, Western Pennsylvania-based OhanaLink Technologies to provide those experiencing domestic violence a secure communication channel while they seek help.
Those receiving assistance through DVSSP now have free access to OhanaLink Purple, a secure, cloud-based mobile app that allows individuals to talk privately with case workers, family members and friends.
“DVSSP is continually looking for new and improved ways to serve our clients, and we are excited to offer the OhanaLink Purple mobile solution,” DVSSP Chief Operating Officer Megan Dunlevy said in a news release. “From providing a secure, private communication channel between our advocates and our clients to the wealth of resources available to them, OhanaLink Purple is a true game-changer for us.”
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted challenges those experiencing domestic violence face, and brought to DVSSP’s attention the need for improved, safe communication tools that connect domestic violence agencies to their clients. In fall of 2020, OhanaLink Technologies partnered with several domestic violence agencies, including DVSSP, to create OhanaLink Purple.
OhanaLink Purple is a digital safe space where those working with DVSSP can communicate privately with advocates. The app’s messaging feature allows victims to log in and chat in a secure setting, where nothing is saved directly to the phone or tablet. OhanaLink Purple provides access to tools, resources and services and boasts Traceless Safety Features for additional security.
“A lot of times when people are in an abusive relationship, the person who is being abusive might try to control who they communicate with, how they communicate. This app is confidential. It’s not something that is easily visible as an app that’s for a domestic violence situation,” said Leslie Orbin, communications specialist for DVSSP. “Some of our counselors have used it; the feedback that they’ve given is it’s a great tool. It provides clients an opportunity to connect when all of their avenues have been taken away, makes people more comfortable reaching out.”
OhanaLink Purple can be downloaded through the Google Play or Apple App stores and is free to DVSSP clients through the organization’s partnership with OhanaLink Technologies.
“We’re excited to add this tool to our domestic violence toolbox,” said Orbin.
For more information on OhanaLink, visit https://www.ohanalink.com/.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, visit https://www.peacefromdv.org/ or dial the 24/7 hotline at 800-791-4000.