World Cup Fans to be greeted with new app: ending violence against women is the goal

Posters, billboards and ads on public transit will promote a new smartphone app that provides information for women who’ve experienced violence.


Wendely Leal, one of the designers and programmers of Clique 180 app
Wendely Leal, one of the designers and programmers of Clique 180 in the official launch of the app in Brasília, capital of Brazil. He used the information of the app to help a friend in a situation of gender violence. Photo: UN Women/Isabel Clavelin

During the World Cup in Brazil, locals and tourists will come across posters,billboards and ads on buses and subways with an image of women and men holding acellphone with the following message: “Violência contra as mulheres? Eu ligo180” ("Violence against women? I'll call 180".)

Launched on 22 May, the government campaign emphasizes the public’sresponsibility to end violence against women. It promotes a 24-hour women’shelpline (Central de Atendimento à Mulher – Ligue 180), where survivors ofviolence can access information about their rights, where and how to seek help,and report cases. The hotline has received over 3 million calls since itscreation in 2005 – an impressive number that they hope to increase. 

Around 40 per cent of Brazilian women have experienced domestic violence atsome point in their lives. [1] In 2012, 50,617 rapes werereported in Brazil[2] and more than 92,000 women werekilled between 1980 and 2012[3]. Building an app to promotethe hotline was an imperative step for Brazil ranks 4th in the world in thenumber of smartphones – with some 70 million handsets in the country in 2013[4].More than 100 million Brazilians – which is around half of the total populationof nearly 200 million – use the Internet[5].

The newly developed smartphone application Clique 180 provides informationabout the types of violence against women and the country's legislation for eachcrime, as well as guidelines on what to do and where to go for women who havesuffered different types of violence. It includes a button to dial the Women´sHelpline and a collaborative tool that allows users to pin areas of the citythat pose safety risks on a map. The app is supported by a website (

Developed for iOS and Android operating systems by UN Women, in partnershipwith the British Embassy, the Clique 180 app builds on a previousSmartWomen App piloted in 2013 under the Rio de Janeiro Safe and SustainableCity for All Joint Programme “Rio por Elas”, in partnership with UN-Habitat andUNICEF. It was tested in 10 favelas (shantytowns) in Rio.

Maria do Carmo Bittencourt, coordinator of the State Reference Center for Women in Porto Alegre
Maria do Carmo Bittencourt, coordinator of the State Reference Center for Women in Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul, in southern Brazil. She believes that with Clique 180 women will find in an easier way the locations of the right services that belongs to the Network of Specialized Services of Assistance to Women. Photo: UN Women/Thays Prado

The new app has many improvements. Besides redesigning layout, improving thenavigability and adding new features, the app now includes nation-wide servicesand is available for free download on the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.Using geolocation, Clique 180 taps into a Network of Specialized Services ofAssistance to Women – indicating which local, state-level or federal publicservices, non-governmental or academic resources are located closest to theuser, their hours of operation and how to get there.

In early May, even before its official launch, Wendely Leal, a designer andprogrammer who was part of the team that developed Clique 180, already used itto help a friend identify and report violence she had experienced.

“My friend left the bar running, scared, crying. She called me immediately totell me what had happened. As she spoke … I remembered the information I hadbecause I was programing Clique 180,” explains Mr. Leal. “So, I read aboutviolence to her, explaining that she was a victim of a crime under Brazilianlaw. Then, using the app, I found the most appropriate kind of service among theNetwork of Specialized Services of Assistance to Women and located the closestpolice station specialized in assisting women. Finally, we went there toregister a police report.”

Ideojane Melo Conceição, educator and activist of the Women’s Collective ofFeira de Santana, a women's rights organization in the state of Bahia,northeastern Brazil, is in daily contact with women who don’t realize they areexperiencing violence in personal relationships, at work or on public transport.

“There are many types of violence that affect different women in differentways,” she says. “It is very important that the app clarifies this, throughsimple words with lots of examples.”

Maria do Carmo Bittencourt, coordinator of the State Reference Centre forWomen in Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in southernBrazil, explains that many women choose not to seek services for women survivorsof violence in their own city, especially in small towns, because they feelembarrassed to be entering the site.

“Because the application has registered services across the country, thesewomen may also find other locations outside of their cities to ask for help ormake a complaint,” she says.

In addition to developing the app, UN Women has also been researching howmobile technologies can be used to prevent and respond to violence against womenand girls. A Global Mapping project with Microsoft is underway on women’s accessto and use of mobiles phones to prevent, document and respond to violence inpublic spaces – in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, New Delhi and Marrakech. Theresults of this research will be released later this year.

“It is essential that information that can save the lives of women reacheseveryone, everywhere,” says Nadine Gasman, Representative of UN Women Brazil.“We are proud to be able to offer this tool that will help women recognize thesituations of violence they experience and access public services to break thisvicious cycle of patriarchal domination.”

[1] Departamento Intersindical de Estatística eEstudos Socioeconômicos (Dieese), Anuário das Mulheres Brasileiras, 2011.Disponível em:

[2] Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública, AnuárioBrasileiro de Segurança Pública, 2013. Disponível em:

[3] Centro Brasileiro de Estudos Latino-Americanos eFaculdade Latino-Americana de Ciências Sociais, Mapa da Violência, 2012.Disponível em: (acessada em 11 de setembro de2013).

[4] Consultoria Morgan Stanley

[5] IBOPE 2013