App Could Help Officials Prosecute Rapists In Developing World

A new app is aiming to crack down on rapists in a country where the crime is far too common.

MediCapt will serve as a vital tool in collecting evidence and information on cases concerning sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), TakePart reported. The cell phone app, set to be released in 2016, will digitize the process in which field workers and medical professionals gather and save information provided by rape victims.

MediCapt’s standard form — which asks questions like, “Did the perpetrator have weapons?“, “Was the victim pregnant?”, “Has she tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease?” — allows for this useful information to be stored centrally and be easily accessible to doctors, social workers and forensic teams.

The app will also allow workers to take pictures of evidence — such as a victim’s physical injuries — should the photos be relevant in a court case down the line.

According to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) — the New York City-based nonprofit that created the application — MediCapt will be an important tool that could help officials prosecute violators through the justice system.

A lack of access to computers and poor communication systems country-wide make collecting and saving information from rape cases a challenge for law enforcement, as ThinkProgress reported. Many workers use unreliable methods, like jotting down notes on paper, to record information, according to TakePart.

The app — which launched as a pilot in DRC in January 2014 — has the potential to protect women around the world in the coming years: “International adoption of this new technology will be a crucial contribution to ending impunity for mass atrocities,” PHR website states.

DRC has an abysmal track record when it comes to sexual —> Read More