Violence against girls and women is still a harsh reality in Brazil. Unfortunately, in the last year, while the Covid-19 pandemic settled in our country and we needed to adopt the social isolation, cases increased.

One in four women over the age of 16 claims to have suffered some type of violence in 2020 in Brazil, according to a survey by the Datafolha Institute commissioned by the Brazilian Forum for Public Security (FBSP). This means that about 17 million women (24,4%) have suffered physical, psychological or sexual.

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According to Brazilian Yearbook of Public Security 2021, last year there were 1.350 femicides in Brazil. Among the victims, 74,7% were between 18 and 44 years old, the majority were black (61,8%) and the most frightening: 81,5% were killed by their current or former partners.

The data also show that there was a call for domestic violence per minute. Only on Dial 190, of the Military Police, there were 694.131 calls, corresponding to an increase of 16,3% compared to the previous survey.

When it comes to sexual violence, the numbers are even bleaker. The survey shows that 60.460 cases of rape were officially registered in 2020, with 86,9% of the victims being female. Of the total number of crimes, 85,2% were perpetrated by authors known to the victims, while 60,6% of them were up to 13 years old and the vast majority, 73,7%, were vulnerable and incapable of consent.

It is worth noting that we have made important advances in combating violence against girls and women. Part of this effort is the approval of regulations, such as the Maria da Penha Law, the creation of institutions, such as specialized services for women, as well as campaigns to raise awareness of professionals and the population about the problem, its effects and the resources available for face it. But all this effort is not enough to put an end to this situation.

That's because the subject is sensitive. There is a lack of resources for the construction of more effective public policies in the areas of education, health and social assistance; It is necessary to expand access to information on rights and protective measures; Actions for women's empowerment, employability and assistance to victims are needed; As well as the proper notification of crimes, investigation and punishment of aggressors.

Amidst so many challenges that still persist, there are also alternatives being built. Most of them with the use of technologies.

Important tools to avoid violence

While an effective resolution does not happen, technology can be a great ally in this process. There are several initiatives – in Brazil and around the world – that seek to apply digital solutions to combat violence against girls and women.

This is the case with ISA.bot, a robot created by the organization Think Olga and the Map of Reception, with the support of Facebook, Google and UN Women. The solution provides guidance for girls and women in situations of violence and can be accessed via the Google Assistant chat or on Facebook.

Another initiative is the All for One, an application that allows sending notices (calls for help) to contacts selected as “Angel”. More than 20 thousand downloads of the solution have already been performed, which is also present in countries like the USA, Colombia and Germany.

Or the Glory Project, which combines three disruptive technologies – blockchain, artificial intelligence and analytics – to improve the collection, analysis and availability of data related to violence against girls and women, enabling the construction of evidence-based public policies.

We will still have to discuss this subject many times

None of this solves the problem entirely. We still have many barriers to confronting violence against girls and women, not just here in our country, but around the world.

Like any complex problem, we know that there is no single solution, but there is no longer any doubt that technology used with wisdom and purpose has the power to transform the reality of so many girls and women who constantly suffer from recurrent episodes of domestic violence.

There is no lack of solutions that can be great allies in this fight that must belong to each and every one of us.

* Letícia Piccolotto is Executive President of the BRAVA Foundation (www.brava.org.br) and founder of BrazilLAB – the first GovTech innovation hub that connects startups with government