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Willacy County rolling out app to report domestic violence

1 year 2 weeks 1 day ago Friday, April 30 2021 Apr 30, 2021 April 30, 2021 6:30 PM April 30, 2021 in News - Local

In a matter of seconds - victims of domestic violence in the Rio Grande Valley’s smallest county will soon be able to report an incident. 

It’s all possible with the Victim Initiated Notification app. where victims can record and send up to 30 seconds worth of video directly to law enforcement.

The Willacy County District Attorney’s Office announced they are launching a pilot program of the app.

The app is available in English and Spanish and won't make a single noise. It’ll keep recording even if the user exits from the app or locks their phone.

Willacy County District Attorney Annette Hinojosa said the number of domestic violence incidents has been steadily increasing since the pandemic began. She said she hopes this app will help deter people from committing violent acts while also allowing law enforcement to collect evidence that will in turn help prosecutors in the courtroom.  

"We're going to court and that person is saying ‘I wasn't there, it's not proven,’ that video is preserved and I can prove it,” Hinojosa said. “It gives you a time stamp, a date and actually a location." 

The app also allows victims to keep a diary, a copy of a protective order, report crimes or call for medical assistance. Even if the perpetrator breaks a victim's phone, the data won’t be lost. 

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