Google Adds New Search Feature To Help Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims Find Help
Google wants to make it easier for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to find the help they need. The search engine giant announced today it has worked with Singapore's Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to introduce a new Search experience that would point potential victims to the authorities that would provide them assistance.
Now, when you search for terms like "domestic violence”, “family violence”, “my partner is hitting me” or “sexual assault”, Google will show you the hotline and the website of the National Anti-Violence and Sexual Harassment Helpline (NAVH), encouraging you to seek help.
“For victims of domestic or family violence and sexual assault, time is of the essence when searching for help," said Ben King, Country Managing Director of Google Singapore. "Through this enhanced Search experience, we hope to connect victims with the right authorities to get them the help they need immediately."
The new initiative is said to be part of the MSF's commitment to tackle family violence with the public through the establishment of the NAVH. This comes amid a steady rise in enquiries and new cases over the past few years. There have reportedly been over 4,500 enquiries to the NAVH in 2020. Additionally, searches for terms like "domestic violence" and "sexual assault" saw significant spikes during the pandemic, a time when a lot of people were confined to their homes.
"No one should suffer in silence," said Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education. "Since 1 May 2022, MSF has enhanced the National Anti-Violence and Sexual Harassment Helpline (NAVH) to be the one-stop helpline for anyone to report violence, including sexual violence and sexual harassment."
"Through this initiative with Google, witnesses or victim-survivors of violence will be able to get access to help more expediently," she added.
Along with this initiative with Google, the MSF is running the ‘Break The Silence’ public education campaign, which raises awareness of the issues mentioned above and pushes both victims and witnesses to seek help. In line with this, the Ministry also promoted the use of the ‘Signal for Help’, a one-handed gesture for victims to use to alert others that they are in danger.
Google said the search terms will continue to be revised over time as they gather more data on what other terms may also be relevant to the issue. The feature will be available on both mobile and desktop versions of Search.
Google worked with Singapore's Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to introduce a new Search experience that would point potential assault or abuse victims to the authorities that would provide them assistance.
Now, when relevant terms are searched on Google, results will point potential victims to the National Anti-Violence and Sexual Harassment (NAVH) Helpline.
The new feature will be available on both mobile and desktop versions of Search.