We so often hear about the ills of social media. Snapchat, however, may just have found a way to use its reach for a good cause, beyond allowing you to share short videos, funny pictures and witty doodles.
Rajshekar Patil, Avani Parekh and Nida Sheriff are the three 20-something Indians have used the app to create a Snapchat account called lovedoctordotin, in partnership with a counselling service called Love Doctor and Chayn India, a platform for women which helps women suffering from violence and domestic abuse. Their aim is to put Indian teens who are suffering in abusive relationships in touch with Snapchat Counsellors.
Nida told Vagabomb that they ‘realised that privacy and secrecy are super important for those in abusive relationships…especially for teens and young people.’
Avani said they aim to ‘provide a compassionate, friendly outlet for people with questions.’
‘We serve as a best friend who asks you the tough questions. We won’t tell anyone what to do, but if a relationship sounds like it’s abuse, based on the criteria provided by Chayn India, we don’t hesitate to say’, she added.
The founders hope that this Snap helpline will help to tackle a widespread, yet under-reported problem, in India.
The Better India reports that ‘intimate partner violence is a rising concern in India – not only among married couples, but also for teenagers and young people in the age group of 16-24.’
The hope is that Snapchat is forum where people feel safe enough to share personal information because it does not keep a record of sent messages. In theory a victim could use it without fear of their partner finding the messages, which the founders hope will encourage users to open up and share their experiences and concerns.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.