Updated Mar 28, 2019

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SAAHAS - The GBV (Gender Based Violence) Help Map

Saahas is a one-stop-spot for all kinds of assistance and support that a survivor of gender-based violence may seek. It seeks to promote peaceful, just and equitable societies by connecting victims of GBV with resources in their communities.


Stage 5: Scaling

The GBV Help Map is an interactive app that can be accessed via android, iphone, web or chatbot. Available in 6 languages, 10000+ citizens around the world have reported using the app. The tool is used on an average of 75-100 times every 24 hours.

Registered in India.

Focus Areas:

Rule of Law and Human Rights, Peace and Resilience, Conflict Response and 3 MoreSEE ALL

Rule of Law and Human Rights, Peace and Resilience, Conflict Response, Gender, Youth and Digital Inclusion & ConnectivitySEE LESS

Lives Impacted to Date


Survivors who have faced violence either don’t know where to go for help, or don’t have resources to find out where to go for help. Sometimes, their situation prevents them from finding help, and that can be extremely dangerous to their safety. The name Saahas, in Hindi, translates to mean “Courage.” The app recognizes that a survivor’s choice to stand up to violence and a bystander’s choice to intervene in a case of violence is an act of courage.

Having access to and using the internet is a privilege. Unbabel, an AI-based translation platform, observes in a 2015 blog post titled “Top languages of the internet, today and tomorrow” that “English has always dominated the web. Even today, it is estimated that 55.5% of all web content is in English. However, only around 20% of the world’s population speaks English at all, and just 5% of the world speaks English as a native language.” In the same year, the UN Women reported instances of violence that reflected massive numbers in nations where English is neither a native language, nor a language that is spoken much among the population. Very little data exists on other gender identities and their experiences of gender-based violence.

Against this backdrop, there is an enormous gap, which needs plugging. While instances of smart phone penetration have increased, it doesn’t automatically mean that there is ease of access to the internet and mobile apps. Products and content that are in English do not go as far and wide as one may assume. This presented an opportunity for Saahas, and as a first step, we have created versions in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. We do acknowledge that there are many, many more people who do not speak any of these languages at all, and we do recognize that we will need to reach these demographics as well. Our first step in this direction remains a testament to that recognition.



Saahas was created as a mobile app with the help and support of World Pulse. Kirthi was selected as part of the first cohort of the Impact Leader Program, and received an award and mentorship support with which she built the mobile app. World Pulse was founded by Jensine Larsen. Based out of Portland, Oregon, World Pulse is a growing social network connecting over 53,000 people from 190 countries who are impacting more than 3.1 million lives and creating a world where all women thrive.

In supporting the translation process, the UN Online Volunteering platform has been immensely giving. We have a team of nearly eighty translators from all over the world who have worked very hard to create versions of the libraries in their native tongues. While there are still stretches of text that have not yet been translated (the law library for 196 countries and the directory’s addresses), our key spaces, namely, the learning components, remain translated.

Saahas continues to operate with the same key goal: to continue to make societies free of violence and to support survivors by placing their control right back in their hands, and by respecting their personal agency.

Saahas can be accessed here:

Innovation Description

The GBV Help Map is a crowdmap that contains a visual directory of verified organizations around the world that offer specific services to survivors of violence - legal, medical, educational / employment, emergency help, and also lists police, ambulance, consular and refugee specific services. The idea behind the GBV Help Map was to make help available for survivors of violence without any difficulty.
How does your innovation work?
The idea behind the GBV Help Map was to make help available for survivors of violence without any difficulty. We wanted them to be able to access medical, legal, emergency help, police and ambulance resource, and after-survival resources like education and employment. We realized that many survivors, especially those in Intimate Partner Violence situations, are not able to get online and browse for help without leaving tracks - and it may not be easy deleting everything from a search history. But the map is just one destination that has all the resources, and it's easy to erase tracks because it's just one link to delete. We took on the task of verifying the organizations' we put up on the map so that a survivor can just reach out and get help. A survivor can get on the map and either search by category and then figure out the nearest services to them, or, they can search by location and access the categories, or simply head to the Help Directories and look at the list of organizations in the country / city for their access.

Competitive Advantage

Saahas comprises a directory of support across 196 countries, a database of guidance notes on understanding gender-based violence and ways to respond to them. The directory of support comprises over 40000 organizations across 196 countries offering medical, legal, education / employment, resources (food, shelter, clothing, emergency support), consular and refugee-specific support, police and ambulance services for survivors of gender-based violence and child support services.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Three fold strategy: We have begun operationalising a three-part curriculum that was tested last year. This looks at three angles of operation: (a) Information for women and girls on how to stay safe physically and how to respond to violence if they are in such a situation; (b) Information for women and girls on how to operate digital tools to not only access information such as the map, but to also speak out against violence on platforms online and offline; and (c) Information and tools for women and young girls to cope with trauma, to heal from trauma, and to reclaim their lives.
New FeatureChatbot and web/mobile app available in all official UN languages

The Team Behind the Innovation

The Red Elephant Foundation is an initiative that is built on the foundations of story-telling, civilian peacebuilding and activism for sensitisation on all drivers of peace - gender, race, nationality, colour and orientation. The initiative is titled "Red Elephant" to stand out as a vehicle that projects stories that must never be forgotten: stories that show you such courage that you should never forget, and stories that show the world such profound lessons that the world should never forget. In doing so, the initiative aims at creating awareness and opening up channels of communication towards creating societies of tolerance, peacebuilding and equality.




Mar 2019
Lives Impacted
Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Date Unknown