Women experiencing family violence have the opportunity to take control of their story with a free smartphone app called Arc that enables them to identify, document and record patterns of intimate partner behaviour that make them feel scared, unsafe, or intimidated.
With technology playing an increasingly integral role in today’s relationships and social interactions, the use of technology such as smartphones, tablets and social media platforms to perpetrate family violence is also on the rise.
The Arc app enables women experiencing family violence to track details of abusive behaviour by uploading photos, videos, audio and diary entries to create a record of what has happened, when it happened, and how it made them feel.
Tech-based family violence response
Developed by DVRCV with funding from the Victorian Government’s Public Sector Innovation Fund and the Department of Social Services, Arc keeps a record of information that may be used by a victim survivor to put the language of family violence around her experiences.
Arc may be used to help victim survivors explain their story to a friend, family member or a support service, to provide key information to police, in court, or with legal or family violence practitioners.
Using tech for good
A 2018 University of NSW study found women already take notes, photographs, audio and video recordings of abusive partners to document their experiences of family violence. Arc offers an easier and more secure way to collate these recordings than traditional methods such as diaries, or digital options such as Google docs.
Arc curates information about family violence in one place and stores it securely off-device – in the cloud – where it can’t be altered, deleted or lost. All Arc account data is password protected and stored securely on Amazon Web Services in Australia. It is encrypted at 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256). AES-256 and consists of 14 rounds of data transformation – among the most secure methods of encryption available.
The app design is discreet, and Arc can be deleted instantly from a device, and reinstalled at any time without loss of information.