As Domestic Violence Awareness Month gets underway, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday a new up-to-date way for the city to connect survivors of domestic violence with service providers.
Through a new mobile phone application called the Honest Assessment Response Tool, San Francisco police officers will be able to identify survivors who are at a higher risk for being seriously injured due to domestic violence.
The survivors would then be encouraged to immediately speak to an advocate with La Casa de las Madres, an organization that provides support for survivors.
"When it comes to helping survivors of domestic violence, a quick response and access to services is critical," Breed said in a statement.
"This assessment will help our police officers more quickly connect survivors with advocates who can help them develop a safety plan, or get them into shelter. Getting that immediate assistance can make the difference for someone who is in an unsafe situation, and we're excited to see how this pilot helps San Franciscans," she said.
Police Chief William Scott said, "The implementation of this app will help bolster the success of this pilot program by automating the process for officers in the field to quickly link domestic violence survivors with advocates. We will continue to work closely with survivor advocates to improve our response and delivery of services."
The new app is part of the city's Bayview Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment Pilot Program, created in 2017 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women.
The program is based out of the city's Bayview neighborhood, which has one of the highest numbers of domestic violence calls to police, the Mayor's office said.
Data from the app could be used to track gaps in service, trends and areas for interventions. The app's pilot phase begins in October and ends Jan. 1, 2020. Afterward, police will evaluate its efficiency for a more widespread deployment.
"Early intervention is the key to ending domestic violence," Kathy Black, executive director of La Casa de las Madres, said.