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Harnessing the Power of AI in the Violence Against Women and Girls

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising various fields, and could do the same for the including the violence against women and girls (VAWG) sector.

By leveraging advanced algorithms and computing power, AI brings new possibilities to prevent, respond to, and support survivors of gender-based violence. In this blog post, we will explore the applications of AI within the VAWG sector while also providing a brief definition of AI and tracing its origins.

Artificial Intelligence refers to the development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that would typically require human intelligence.

These tasks encompass a wide range of activities, including perception, reasoning, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making.

AI systems are designed to analyse data, identify patterns, make predictions, and automate complex processes, all with the goal of augmenting human capabilities and achieving more efficient outcomes.

The inception of AI dates back to the mid-20th century. In 1956, a group of researchers at the Dartmouth Conference coined the term “Artificial Intelligence” and laid the foundation for the field. Over the following decades, significant advancements were made in AI research, driven by the development of algorithms, computing power, and the accumulation of vast amounts of data. Breakthroughs in machine learning, neural networks, and deep learning algorithms have propelled AI to unprecedented heights, enabling it to tackle complex tasks and improve over time through experience.

Applications of AI in the VAWG Sector:

Data analysis:

  • AI can analyze vast datasets to identify patterns, risk factors, and trends associated with violence against women, aiding in evidence-based policy development and intervention strategies.

Early warning systems:

  • AI algorithms can monitor online spaces, social media platforms, and digital communications to detect potential threats, harassment, or abusive behavior, allowing for timely intervention and support.

Natural language processing:

  • AI-powered natural language processing can analyse text-based content to identify instances of harassment, threats, or abusive language, helping to monitor and address online violence against women, men and children but also risk assessments, statements given to police , social Workers, IDVAs and housing officers

Chatbots and virtual assistants:

  • AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants can offer 24/7 support, provide information, emotional support, and referrals to helplines or support organisations for survivors of violence.

Risk assessment and prediction:

  • AI models can be trained on historical data to predict the risk of violence against women in specific cases, assisting professionals in evaluating danger levels and prioritising interventions.

Image and video analysis:

  • AI technologies like computer vision can analyse images, sounds and videos for signs of violence, aiding in the identification of instances of abuse and providing additional evidence.

Training and awareness:

  • AI-powered simulations and virtual scenarios can be utilised for training professionals, enabling them to practice responding to different situations

Additionally, AI can contribute to awareness campaigns by delivering personalised content and disseminating educational resources effectively.

AI offers significant potential to enhance the efforts of the violence against women and girls sector.

By leveraging AI’s capabilities in data analysis, early warning systems, natural language processing, chatbots, risk assessment, image and video analysis, training, and awareness, organisations and stakeholders can strengthen their ability to prevent violence, support survivors, and promote a safer and more equitable society.

However, it is crucial to ensure responsible and ethical implementation, with a focus on human oversight, privacy protection, and addressing potential biases to maximise the benefits and mitigate risks associated with AI technologies.

I know from working within VAWG with survivors and perpetrators the human aspect is really important – but anything to support me and my colleagues and make the experience for survivors when they do disclose or require help better I would definitely welcome even with my sceptical hat on.

Meena Kumari 
H.O.P.E Training & Consultancy LTD


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