A new app is available in the D.C. area to help women and men in abusive relationships find a safe escape when they need it most.
The app called SafeNight sends an alert to its users when a victim of domestic violence needs a place to stay and there is no available space in a shelter. Users can make an immediate anonymous donation to pay for a hotel room for the person in need.
"I was in a very stressful and trying, abusive situation," said one woman who was able to get shelter thanks to a SafeNight donation. To protect her safety, News4 isn't identifying the woman.
She said it's been two months since she left her abusive relationship.
"That's what I needed, was time to think, reflect, gather my thoughts so I can know which way I'm going," she said.
SafeNight first launched in California and is now available in the D.C. region through Community Advocates for Family and Youth, or CAFY, a non-profit that helps victims of domestic violence.
"We really believe we can place hundreds of people, that we can be in a position where no one is turned away when they're trying to get out of danger or trying to leave a domestic violence situation," Arleen Joell, the executive director of CAFY, said.
App user Shelagh Casey Brown said it has given her an opportunity to help domestic violence survivors in a way she never could before.
"You want to be able to help and yet you don't know how. Now you know how. You sign up for safe app and you can make a difference and you know you have," Brown said.
The app will notify users when they've helped someone, but donors and survivors will likely never meet since the app is anonymous.
SafeNight is available on Android and iOS devices. All donations are tax deductible.