Toranj: a new line of defense against domestic violence

Toranj is the first personal safety mobile app developed specifically to support Iranian women at risk of experiencing violent circumstances, both inside and outside of their homes.

In Iran, as in many parts of the world, domestic violence and other acts of abuse against women are too common. A 2003 study found 66% of married women in Iran have been subjected to some kind of violence and 60% of women that asked for a divorce have suffered some form of domestic violence at the hands of their husbands. Even worse, 50% of Iranian women silently experience domestic abuse; fewer than 35% report to law enforcement.

Designed to help anyone who finds themselves in a situation that could end in domestic violence, Toranj, allows the user to ask for immediate help with the push of a button. A user downloads Toranj and sets up a series of text messages that can be sent to the police or selected contacts when they feel unsafe. There are two messages already drafted: “Call the police” and “Get here fast.” A user can set up any message and press a “HELP” button to send the messages. The user can share their GPS location with the push of a button.

Additionally, Toranj offers users access to long-term help. The app’s researchers have compiled a database of counselors, therapists, and family attorneys who offer services to victims of domestic violence, free of charge.

The third section of Toranj offers legal advice, documents and sample briefings to women who are in abusive marriages and want to find the best way to navigate Iran’s challenging legal system.

Toranj also offers educational material on understanding domestic violence and self-assessments on whether the app user’s relationship is within a healthy realm.  Toranj has been through extensive security testing and doesn’t collect personal data.