‘Help bot’ to be launched to complement domestic violence ‘iMatter’ app

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security will soon launch a ‘help bot’ to complement its ‘iMattter’ app to further provide support to victims of domestic violence.

The app is designed to be user-friendly and accessible, making it easy for survivors to get the help they need.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud

During a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud said the help bot is designed to provide an additional interface for survivors to access resources and support through WhatsApp.

“You can WhatsApp on the app, creating another interface and focusing on people who have disabilities, so there is a voice automation that is going to add on to the iMatter app and we have seen a number of persons using the iMatter app,” Dr Persaud said.

The minister highlighted that the additional feature was conceptualised by a young lady who was sent by the ministry to represent the government at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The development of this ‘help bot’ is an important step forward in the fight against gender-based violence in Guyana by providing survivors with multiple channels to access available support and resources offered by the government.

Since its launch, the iMatter app has been used by a significant number of people across the country and has been praised for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive range of resources, which include information on legal rights, counselling services, and emergency contacts.

It also has a panic button that immediately connects to the 914-hotline if a person is unable to do so.

Persons can utilise the hotline to report physical, mental, verbal, and sexual abuse. Immediate response and action are offered when a person reports a case of violence.

Upon using the hotline persons are provided many forms of support including counselling, shelter, and legal aid.

In addition, survivor advocates are also accessible to persons through the 914 hotline and have the responsibility of informing victims of their rights and the services available to them.

As part of the programme, victims will be offered ‘survivor kits’ to get them back on their feet. The kits contain essential items for persons, who may be forced to evacuate their homes because of an abusive relationship.

The iMatter app is available for download on both Android and Apple devices and all the resources contained within it are also available for free.