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Sophia Chatbot launches in the Philippines to counter domestic violence

QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES — On November 25, 2023, in a momentous stride toward ending violence against women, the Embassy of Switzerland in the Philippines, the Quezon City Government under the leadership of Mayor Joy Belmonte, Spring ACT, and SPARK! Philippines through its advocacy campaign #RespetoNaman, are proud to announce the launch of the Swiss technology “Chatbot Sophia” in the Philippines.

Developed by the Swiss non-profit organization Spring ACT, led by international human rights lawyer Rhiana Spring, Sophia empowers victim-survivors of domestic violence by facilitating the collection of potential evidence, providing access to crucial resources and support, and continually evolving to address the needs of victim-survivors globally. Sophia offers support in numerous languages, including Filipino.

His Excellency, Swiss Ambassador Dr. Nicolas Brühl, underscoring the significance of this initiative, stated, “The Embassy recognizes the disproportionate impact of domestic violence on women and is dedicated to empowering and protecting women’s rights. By supporting SPARK! and Spring ACT to introduce the chatbot Sophia to the Philippines, we aim to create a safer environment and greater opportunities for women to thrive and lead fulfilling lives.”

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Sophia is a revolutionary digital tool that enables individuals to take control of their safety and well-being, acting as an essential supplement to traditional support systems. Its anonymity and user-centric design ensure victim-survivors can seek assistance without fear, while its adaptive nature allows it to evolve and remain a dynamic and relevant tool in the global fight against domestic violence.

“Our launch in Quezon City marks an important step towards transforming silence into action, fear into courage. Together, we can dismantle the shadows of violence and build a future where every individual, regardless of their past, can embrace a life of dignity, safety, and empowerment. We at Spring ACT are humbled to be part of this journey in the Philippines in partnership with Mayor Belmonte and the team at the Embassy of Switzerland, We remain committed to standing alongside every survivor in their path to healing and empowerment,” Rhiana Spring, Executive Director and Founder of Spring ACT, stressed.

The launch will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Spring ACT, the Gender and Development Office of Quezon City, the Sagip Babae Foundation, the Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, and a victim-survivor. It aims to reinforce a collective commitment to the vision of a world free from all forms of violence against women and children, achievable through concrete and sustained actions by local and national governments and civil society organizations, all underpinned by the allocation of adequate resources and effective collaborations.

For further information about this groundbreaking event, please contact Hans Madanguit at +63 906 484 3975 or email info@sparkphilippines.org. Together, let’s take a stand against domestic violence and build a safer, more empowered future for all.

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