PLP 2.0 is an app that connects vulnerable women in violent situations to local authorities and a network of Popular Legal Promoters (PLPs). Between 2012 and 2015, 164,236 women were assaulted in the state of Rio Grande do Sul; almost 300 of them died. Designed in a partnership between organizations Themis and Geledés, the project won the 2014 Google Social Impact Challenge Award. It was piloted in 2016 in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and is currently being replicated in São Paulo and Piauí.
Theory of Change
A trust-based system relying on simple mobile technology and data security can help overcome bureaucratic obstacles to providing vulnerable women with the protection of the formal justice system.
Themis set up an agreement with the state association of judges, the prosecutor’s office, and the police commission specifying the responsibilities of each of these institutions. Themis and Geledés focused on developing strong relationships with all stakeholders, helping them achieve buy-in for incorporating the technology into the justice system as a matter of public policy. They also provided training for PLPs, a community paralegal program that Themis developed over 20 years ago, and hired an external contractor to develop the app. The users of PLP 2.0 are women selected by a judge at the Domestic Violence Court to use the app through a formal authorization order. The app links the authorization order to the user’s court file, allowimg the user to alert the police and PLPs in the local neighborhood if she is under threat, and provides the authorities with immediate, reliable documentation of the existence of a protective order.
The process of developing the application alone has had a positive impact on criminal justice policy. In the state capital Porto Alegre, the Domestic Violence Court signs around 100 protective orders per month, and of those, one or two women receive an authorization order to use PLP 2.0. Judges select the individuals based on the criteria of highest level of vulnerability and most urgency. Throughout the State, 15-18 users per month are judicially authorized to use the application. Despite the high level of user vulnerability, no one using PLP 2.0 has died in a domestic violence incident.