Bright Sky Ro, domestic violence survival guide. What solutions does Vodafone's free app offer victims?

Angela Galeța, director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation, talks to Adevărul Live about Bright Sky Ro, the free application that offers a life-saving solution to victims of domestic violence

Angela Galeța, director of the Vodafone Foundation about Bright Sky Ro Photo source Adevărul Live

Every eight days, at least one Romanian woman dies due to domestic violence

37,408 women, 8,070 minors and 9,951 men. These are the victims of domestic violence in Romania in 2023, according to official data provided by the Romanian Police.
The study carried out in the fall of 2022 by the Romanian Observatory for the Analysis and Prevention of Homicide shows that the average rate of crimes committed against women in Romania is twice as high as in Europe, and every eight days, at least one Romanian woman dies due to domestic violence .

“Everything starts from education, from the culture we have as a people. I had a family where I was loved, but around me I saw countless such situations. Our tolerance for abuse and any form of violence should be zero and I believe it is up to us. If in the area of ​​parenting, we are talking about new generations of parents who have chosen not to beat their children, why can't we talk, at the level of the whole society, about a change in mentality? To understand that the fight is not broken from heaven” Angela Galeța, director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation, declares for Adevărul Live

Bright Sky Ro, 1000 downloads in the first three months of release

The data of the latest press release provided by the Romanian Police are scary. In Romania, in 2023, 28,056 crimes were committed in urban areas, 24,879 in rural areas, 43,746 at home and 9,223 in public spaces.

But behind these data are lives that are either lost or looking for the solution to escape from the terror. The Vodafone Foundation comes to their aid, the victims of domestic violence, showing them that beyond the clouds there is also the bright sky.

In 2019, Vodafone launched the Bright Sky Ro project, the completely free application whose main mission is to provide essential, necessary and easily accessible information to victims of domestic violence who are looking for an escape from the terror in which they live.

Bright Sky Ro was launched in 2020, at a time when, globally, domestic violence exploded. The Covid-19 pandemic would potentiate the “shadow pandemic”, as the World Health Organization called violence against women “a phenomenon of pandemic proportions”.

“During the lockdown, the victims automatically spent more time with the aggressor. We thought that the app can help solve this problem. And we launched Bright Sky Ro in the midst of a pandemic. We were supported by the state institutions, for example the Romanian Police, which is our partner in the development of this application, the Institute for Research and Crime Prevention, which together helped in the promotion. After almost three months we had 1000 downloads. The app is available in 13 countries and global figures show around 940,000 hits. We are at over 92,000 hits and 10,000 unique active users. These are big numbers and it is a credit to all those who have chosen to speak out about domestic violence. From year to year the number of reported cases has increased, which means that victims have more access to information and have started to gather courage and report the abuse” says the director of the Vodafone Foundation.

Bright Sky Ro the application that helps to understand all forms of violence

Bright Sky Ro is free and available for both Android and IOS, and recently also has a web version. The application is in Romanian, English and Hungarian and is primarily dedicated to victims of domestic violence, but equally addresses each of us, providing information about what domestic violence means.

Bright Sky Ro has a resource area, or a database where the victim of domestic violence can find the contact details of all institutions, both private and state, that offer help in such situations.

Bright Sky Ro is instrumental in helping us understand all forms of violence. Aggression is not just a “mistaken” slap to a partner, child, or parent. Manipulation through emotional, verbal and economic abuse, harassment, including at work, are other forms of violence.

” The app also has an area that debunks myths about violence and abuse. And from the examples I put there, one says this: it's true that my friend manipulates her husband, influences him, distances him from family and friends. But this is not a form of abuse. That's how she is and it means she loves him very much. Well, it's a form of abuse. Very often, the victim makes excuses for the aggressor, blames himself. The application can also be used in such cases. There are also situations of domestic violence and the children are the ones who open the mother's eyes. With their help, the woman decides to leave the abusive relationship. We have in the application all the phone numbers of all the toll-free lines that offer information and help even in such a situation”
says Angela Galeța

The director of the foundation also shows that some of the most used areas in the application are either where the forms of abuse are explained to the user, or the assessment or self-assessment questionnaire that can be used by both the victim and the person who assumes that someone loved one is a victim of violence.

“Then there is my Journal, the extremely important component in the application because it allows sending messages to a secure email address. And the application includes information on how the user can create this email address precisely so that the aggressor does not have access to it. And My Journal allows audio, video, photo recordings to be sent to this secure email address, which can later be used as evidence in court. One thing that I think is of great interest to people who want to use My Diary is that the application does not store information about the user precisely to protect it and to provide much more trust” points out Angela Galeța, director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation

Watch the full edition of Adevărul Live produced and moderated by Antoaneta Banu and learn from Angela Galeța, director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation, all the important details about Bright Sky Ro

And even if you are not a victim of domestic violence, download the app to your phone. Do not forget that in 2023, in Romania, 28,056 crimes were committed in urban areas, 24,879 in rural areas, 43,746 at home and 9,223 in public spaces, according to the Romanian Police