DomesticShelters.org is proud to partner with Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and Vodafone Americas Foundation on the launch of the U.S. version of Bright Sky. The free, safe, and easy-to-use mobile app and website connects those impacted by domestic violence to practical information to educate, detect warning signs, deliver life-saving information, and importantly, provide access to the most comprehensive database of programs and shelters in the U.S. that DomesticShelters.org pioneered in 2014 and has managed since.
"It's wonderful to see organizations pool resources and collaborate rather than using the precious financial resources available in the domestic violence field on potentially duplicating efforts. We are so pleased to have been able to bring to the project our database of 2,395 programs and shelters in the U.S., which is built and updated through the active participation of the programs and shelters," said Ashley Rumschlag, CEO & President of Theresa's Fund and DomesticShelters.org.
According to the data from the CDC, more than ten million adults experience domestic violence annually in the U.S. One in four women and one in seven men aged 18 and older in the U.S. have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, and on a typical day, nearly 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. Additionally, the American Psychological Association estimates that intimate partner violence victims lose 8,000,000 days of paid work each year, the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs.
“Domestic violence is a public health issue that impacts more than 10 million women, men, and children across the U.S. each year, and we see first-hand the resultant daily impact and devastation,” said Nicole Molinaro, President/CEO, Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. “The Bright Sky app will be instrumental in offering a safe path to support those impacted by domestic violence and those who may be concerned that a loved one, friend or colleague may be experiencing abuse. Offering a range of accessible risk assessment tools, life-saving safety and planning resources, and connections to help and hope, Bright Sky will positively impact the lives of many,” added Molinaro.
Launched in the U.S with the support of NO MORE, DomesticShelters.org and Aspirant, Bright Sky is the only multinational domestic violence support mobile app available. The Bright Sky app, available for download on iOS or Android or accessible via the website, enables users to:
- Identify the types and signs of domestic violence
- Assess the safety of their relationship or that of a friend or loved one
- Access information about different forms of abuse and how to help a friend that may be affected
- Locate local resources and support services.
“I find the Bright Sky app to be a crucial tool for people who are dealing with an abusive relationship. Overall, I think the app is a big step forward for persons experiencing any type of abuse and will create opportunities for them to get help, so they are not alone,” shared an anonymous survivor.
“The Vodafone Americas Foundation believes that technology and connectivity are fundamental in addressing the most pressing issues in our global and local communities,” said June Sugiyama, Director, Vodafone Americas Foundation. “It’s at the heart of our mission to create and invest in partnerships committed to using technology to empower women and girls as well as in the local communities where our employees live and work.”
Bright Sky was founded in 2018 by Vodafone Group Foundation and UK-based crisis support charity Hestia. With the addition of the U.S. launch, Vodafone Group Foundation has now expanded the app to 13 countries, including Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
The app was formally launched in the U.S. as part of the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 2023), a UN-sponsored global meeting seeking to identify challenges to and establish global standards on gender equality and the rights of women and girls. Rumschlag joined a panel discussion on the role of technology in ending gender-based violence. During panel she shared, "Experiencing abuse isn't something that is easy to open up about, and technology has the potential to create a safe space where people can get answers to their questions when they don't feel comfortable reaching out to friends and family or a trained DV advocate."
About the Organizations:
Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh (WC&S) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to end domestic violence and create safe spaces for help, healing, and hope. Founded in 1974 as one of the first six domestic violence programs in the United States, WC&S has been serving Allegheny County, Pennsylvania for nearly 50 years. WC&S is the largest domestic violence agency in the county, offering comprehensive emergency and longer-term services to all survivors of domestic violence and their children to support their safety and healing.
For more than ten years, Vodafone Foundation has used technology to connect over 1.5 million people affected by domestic violence, abuse and hate crime to advice, support, and education in the belief that technology can make an impact in people’s lives. The Vodafone Americas Foundation invests in innovation to elevate women’s voices and create positive and sustainable change within their communities around the world, with a goal of advancing change for women in girls in four key areas – Human Dignity, Strong Voices, Fulfilling Potential, and Economic Vitality. As part of Vodafone’s global network of 22 foundations, Vodafone Foundation leverages the power of connectivity to change lives and address some of the world’s most pressing problems. Founded in 1991 with a simple mission to invest in the communities in which Vodafone operates, today the charity connects people and ideas with technology and funding, to help those already doing good work to achieve results faster, more cost effectively and with a bigger social impact. Through a strategy of Connecting for Good, Vodafone Group PLC’s philanthropic arm works in partnership with other charitable organizations and NGOs to create solutions that bring about long-term sustainable change and improve 480m lives by 2025.
The NO MORE Foundation is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action, and fueling culture change. With more than 1,400 allied organizations and state, local, and international chapters, NO MORE sparks grassroots activism, encouraging everyone—women and men, youth, and adults, from all walks of life—to be part of the solution. The Foundation creates and provides public awareness campaigns, educational resources and community organizing tools free-of-charge for anyone wanting to stop and prevent violence. First launched in 2013, NO MORE has brought together the largest coalition of advocacy groups, service providers, governmental agencies, major corporations, universities, communities and individuals, all under a common brand and a unifying symbol in support of a world free of violence. The NO MORE Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit Organization. To find out more visit www.NOMORE.org and reach out to us via Info@NOMORE.org.
Preston V. McMurry, Jr. At a time when domestic violence wasn’t yet a headline, Theresa’s Fund focused on changing the landscape of domestic violence services in its home state through grantmaking, board development and fundraising for Arizona-based organizations like East Valley Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, Florence Crittenden, Emerge, UMOM, and West Valley Child Crisis Center. In 2014, it developed the DomesticShelters.org concept as a way to expand its reach to people across the U.S. and Canada. DomesticShelters.org is the first online and mobile searchable database of programs and shelters in the U.S./Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence. It is also the host of the Purple Ribbon Awards, the first comprehensive awards program honoring the countless heroes of the domestic violence movement, including advocates, programs, shelters, survivors and members of the community support system. Learn more at DomesticShelters.org. DomesticShelters.org, a service of Theresa's Fund, exists to make more people aware of the support available for those experiencing domestic violence and make it faster and easier for victims of domestic violence and their friends/family, as well as program and shelter providers, to quickly find services and information best suited to their location, language and needs. The website also provides helpful articles on domestic violence statistics, signs and cycles of abuse, housing services, emergency services, legal and financial services, support groups for women, children, and families and more.
Aspirant partners with business leaders to implement practical solutions to their most critical strategic, technological, and talent-related challenges. Our collaborative teams apply industry and functional expertise to help clients achieve sustainable results.
We also strive to make a meaningful impact in the community by raising awareness of domestic violence and supporting survivors through our Connection of Hope program. Our work on Bright Sky is a central component of this campaign. Since Bright Sky’s inception in 2015, Aspirant’s tech experts have collaborated closely with Vodafone Foundation and the Thames Valley Partnership to add functionality and expand the international reach of the app and website.
Email us for more information about Bright Sky, Connection of Hope, or Aspirant’s professional services. We would love to hear from you.
Thames Valley Partnership brings people and organisations together to create safer and stronger communities. A charity of over 26 years, Thames Valley Partnership specialises in the provision of long-term solutions to crime and social exclusion, leading and developing tech-based resources for survivors of abuse and providing remote-first trauma-informed domestic abuse training.
Thames Valley Partnership leads the global roll out of the Bright Sky App. Supported by the Vodafone Foundation, Bright Sky is available in 13 countries world-wide. For more information on the global expansion please contact firstname.lastname@example.org