DA:SH - UK - breaking the cycle of domestic abuse

Chloé, an LSBU student, is empowering survivors to break free from domestic abuse
09 December 2020

In keeping with our recent 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, we are featuring one of our students, Chloé Lessore and her Community Interest Company DA:SH - UK & Break the Cycle of Domestic Abuse Programme. Chloé is a current BA Business Management with Enterprise and Entrepreneurship student.

During her foundation year, whilst studying innovation and enterprise, Chloe was inspired to use her newfound experience and expertise to help tackle and issue close to her own heart – domestic violence.

Chloé got to thinking of how she could create something that could be used by the thousands of domestic abuse sufferers around the country. Her first stop was an app – but there does already exist some apps for this purpose. Not wanting to crowd the market, she also ran into another problem – phones are often confiscated in these difficult situations. This brought her to the current iteration, the prototype.

Chloé has designed a Bluetooth-powered standalone button. This inconspicuous unit allows the user to send a silent signal to a hub, turning on a microphone to hear an audio input, and crucially, contacts the emergency services. Without sharing the intricacies of the device, it will allow the user to record future evidence for usage in legal proceedings.

The inspiration also lies in the stark facts of the legal system and its approach to domestic violence cases. It will help to combat lying on the side of the perpetrator and can potentially neuter any attempts to refute, deny or discredit the testimony of the victim. It has shown that with evidence, the chance of a non-molestation order on a long-term basis being implemented is increased, and we can continue to work towards eradicating domestic violence both in the UK and around the globe.

Calls to 999 are all recorded, so the confidentiality of those involved is protected – this is a device designed entirely around the victim and is built to be a lifeline to those asking for help. Far too many calls for help are not heard or listened to, and with an assertion that police must respond to this type of call in 8 minutes, often with times of 5 minutes in London, this will be unfortunately essential for many around the country. COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem, even going as far as to be labelled an “epidemic inside of this pandemic” by Dame Vera Baird QC, the Victims' Commissioner for England and Wales.

This project was first designed and created in our IdeaHack program, part of LSBU’s ongoing IdeaHub, a free programme available exclusively to LSBU students and graduates, to help innovators with their products in their early stages.

As for the future, Chloé will hopefully soon conduct field testing within a local police force, whilst working to ensure she can expand from the current 100 prototypes she has to putting one in the hands of every single person affected by this.

DA:SH - UK CIC runs an online store, with all proceeds going to helping another survivor break free.

LSBU defiantly stands against those who perpetrate domestic violence, and we stand with every person affected. We are stronger together and will unite to eradicate this problem for good.

If you find you have been affected by this article, any of the issues mentioned or any of our 16 Days content, please get in contact with our support services as a student or a member of staff.