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Shamsaha: An App For Domestic Abuse Survivors in The Middle East

Shamsaha, a women’s focused non-profit organization, has launched a mobile application that will make crisis advocacy services available to women across the Middle East region for the very first time.

Shamsaha focuses on women’s empowerment and protection programs, including providing 24/7 free and confidential support services in English and Arabic for survivors of domestic violence. The new mobile app will ensure that these services will be available to women across the region by connecting them directly with Shamsaha’s trained and certified volunteers based in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Through the app, women will be able to receive emotional and informational support along with referral programs for legal and therapy services. The app will also provide resources and survivor support tools, along with information about Shamsaha’s fundraising activities and trainings.

The mobile application will also act as the driver of Shamsaha’s regional expansion project, which aims to export its unique crisis advocacy program across the Arabian Gulf region. The first phase of the expansion project has commenced with the launch of virtual support services via the mobile app. This will be followed by the second phase, which is to establish in-person support services in collaboration with partners in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman. Shamsaha’s expansion project and the development of its mobile application is being funded by the L’Oréal Fund for Women, which was launched by the L’Oréal Groupe in 2020 to support and empower highly vulnerable women around the world.

On the occasion, Shamsaha founder and executive director Mary-Justine Todd said: “We are extremely excited to begin this new chapter in Shamsaha’s growth. When I first founded Shamsaha as a non-profit in Bahrain, I hoped to support as many survivors of abuse as possible and now our certified and culturally sensitive support services will be available for women across the Middle East.”

Shamsaha’s mobile application was also developed with support from the US Embassy in Bahrain and the British Embassy in Bahrain. Shamsaha advisory president Munira Al Shaikh added: “A great deal of hard work, commitment and support has gone into developing our mobile application. We want to thank everyone who dedicated their efforts to making this launch a success, including our most valued partners. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the community in Bahrain and the wider Arabian Gulf for welcoming this unique program and for furthering women’s empowerment and protection activities.”

The launch of the mobile application is in line with Shamsaha’s commitment towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and its target to eliminate all forms of violence against women. Global statistics show that in 1 in 3 women will face some form of violence in their lifetime. This makes Shamsaha’s support services for women, via its new mobile application, essential because Shamsaha operates a number of prevention and response programs in the Middle East region.

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