HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN)- Domestic violence is a big concern in society and became even more of an issue during the pandemic as people were forced to stay home.
Out of that problem came an idea. The founder of the Hermitage-based Ohanalink Technologies created a new internet platform allowing victims to discreetly communicate with social service agencies to get help.
“There are some proprietary safety features wrapped into it, which ultimately keep the victim safe when they are using it,” said Ohanalink Technologies CEO ara Wasser.
“Ohanalink” was created several years ago as a way for friends and family to provide health-related information to each other privately. The new “Ohanalink Purple” uses some of the same technology, allowing victims to contact providers without having to share their personal information. It also enables victims to document their abuse.
“I lived in a domestic violence household. School was my safe place, so not being able to go to school and not being able to work cuts your connection with people who know what’s going on,” said Kalie Knight of Meadville. “You could see the signs. You could write anything down, and you could have proof that this happened to you.”
“Ohanalink Purple” isn’t something you would download off your own cellphone app store. Instead, users will need to contact a domestic violence service provider to be able to download the software.
The new program will go online in Mercer County later this month and by the end of the year, supporters hope it will be available through every domestic violence service agency in the Commonwealth.
“Going from the state level down to the agencies and getting the word out that way,” Wasser said.
Advocates hope to have “Ohanalink Purple” available in Ohio and the rest of the country sometime next year.