The Kwanele app gives women a voice to report gender-based violence

As the country officially begins its annual 16 Days of Activism on Friday, NPO Kwanele is tackling some of the reasons women are deterring from filing criminal charges against their attacker, using free technology in the hands of a woman.

Kwanele said women often feel ill-equipped, powerless and exposed when they try to put on a brave face to seek help from law enforcement and the justice system after a GBV attack.

“In many cases, women never conduct a case due to fear, intimidation, administrative hurdles, language barriers and financial constraints.”


Kwanele said his mobile app gives women access to immediate response from the security cluster, followed by personal assistance in filling out police affidavits and access to some of the country’s best lawyers, who offer their services free of charge.

The Kwanele app seeks to fill in any gaps in the current system that is failing GBV survivors by working closely with the police, non-profit organizations and national law enforcement to create a women’s support network once a woman is in Not that activates panic button on their mobile app.

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Attorney Casey Juries, who leads the organization’s legal team, said the app is about “promoting justice in South Africa”.

She said that although the South African Police Service (SAPS) is generally overburdened, the app is not trying to take on the role of SAPS.

“There is a large element of secondary traumatization for women in South Africa, especially women of color. So if we can put in place a mechanism for victims to get legal support from the start and have the organization hold their hand in support and get a conviction.”

No costs

Caroline Mbi-Njifor, Kwanele’s CEO, said the NPO has over 30 legal volunteers who offer their services to members free of charge.

“We have a pool of pro bono lawyers within the organization that we work with to ensure justice is done when it comes to vulnerable women and girls. We are already connected to the SAPS and various Community Policing Forums (CPF). So if the panic button is activated, there will be a reaction. Someone will call me back immediately.”

How it works

Women create a profile in the free Kwanele app that enables them to use this “panic button” in a crisis. Volunteers stand by to alert nearby emergency services, police officers and social workers to help.

The app is also used by survivors to submit evidence such as photos, audio, and documents to build a strong case with admissible evidence to secure a conviction in court.

crime statistics

Crime statistics for the second quarter between July and September 2022 presented by police Minister Bheki Cele announced that over 13,000 women were victims of attacks with intent to cause serious bodily harm.

It also showed that 1,277 women were victims of attempted murder and 989 women were murdered during this reporting period, while over 10,000 rape cases were opened at the SAPS between July and September of this year.

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