Presenting PAVE and Security on Campus’ Mobile Application to Shatter the Silence!

Screen one

PAVE's Mobile Application, coming soon

The mission of PAVE and Security on Campus’ Shatter the Silence! mobile application is to not only Shatter the Silence! that shrouds survivors of sexual and dating violence, but also to prevent this violence from occurring by quipping users with knowledge, skills and services through interactive multimedia tools. PAVE and SOC have just submitted this mobile application into Vice President Joe Biden’s Apps Against Abuse Challenge. Please note that this is just the prototype. Most of the content has not yet been added, but the description below outlines what the finished product will look like.

Click here to preview PAVE and SOC’s mobile application to Shatter the Silence!

PAVE is a national nonprofit that works to shatter the silence of sexual violence. With over 35 chapters and affiliates, PAVE’s work has been featured on CNN, the Today Show and in TIME. For this mobile application titled “Shatter the Silence”,  PAVE has partnered with Security on Campus, which is  a leading national nonprofit geared to the prevention of college and university campus crime, and crime victim assistance.  PAVE and Security on Campus came together for the September 2011 “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” Campaign, which focused on victim empowerment, prevention, bystander intervention, and providing tangible tools for both men and women on over 30 college campuses to work together to create a safer campus, free from sexual and dating violence.
PAVE and SOC’s mobile application to Shatter the Silence of Sexual and Dating Violence, is multifunctional. The application allows us to provide not only emergency assistance, but also a complete learning center to educate users about the issues involved in sexual and dating violence. It also connects users to PAVE and SOC’s websites for up to date news feed and featured articles about the issues. Additionally there is a college campus specific information and resource hub where users can read, listen to and watch survivor testimonies to learn how others recover from the trauma of violence. This module also gives users the chance to upload and share their own experiences with violence.

Emergency

Specifically, Shatter The Silence features a “one click” approach to emergency services, where people experiencing a threatening situation can access through the click of a button 911 services, the RAINN Hotline to get immediate support from trained violence intervention specialists who can also connect them to local advocate services, the National Domestic Violence Hotline,  and a help feature that sends a pre-programmed message with your time and location to pre-designated contacts. Along these same lines, PAVE and SOC have partnered with Glympse to incorporate geolocation functionality so users can “Share their Where” in potentially dangerous situations with trusted friends and family.

It is important to note that all of the call features on the application can be accessed with TTY so that any hearing impaired users will be able to access support services.

Learning Center

In addition to emergency services, the application provides a learning center to educate users about different aspects of sexual and dating violence. First it encourages users to review the myths, facts and statistics to help them realize how many people are effected by sexual violence. Then it provides a section on how to be prepared, to know your risks and threats and how to protect yourself against them. The Be Prepared section incorporates the Glympse functionality and includes information about alcohol related sexual violence.

Next the learn section provides a check list for survivors about what they should to after an assault,  how they should seek help, and a discussion of what it looks like to report an incident of sexual violence. This check list will be duplicated in the emergency section, and also includes links to the RAINN hot line.

Another important aspect of the learning center teaches users how to support a survivor if one should disclose to them. It is proven that how the first person a survivor discloses to reacts will greatly affect their healing process. This module of the learning center equips users with skills to help users provide a safe space for survivors. The module includes a straightforward video PSA that PAVE created for America’s Most Wanted online “Safety Center.”

Additionally, the Learning Center uses interactive quizzes and multi-media educational tools to teach users how to engage in bystander intervention and how alcohol and drugs exacerbate the prevalence of sexual and dating violence. The interactive quizzes are a teaching tool to help users assess how much they know about the issue of sexual and dating violence and also ascertain whether or not they have been assaulted, because often times a victim has a hard time understanding what has happened to them. Additionally there is a quiz through which to evaluate the health of your own dating relationship.

The learning center uses audio, video and text to disseminate the information so that all kids of learners and users will be able to get the most information as possible.
Also, Given the gravity of the information provided in the Shatter The Silence application, there will be  an icon at the top right of every page of the application to disguise the screen and protect the users autonomy when in public.

Shatter the Silence: Survivor Testimony and Sharing Center

Part of PAVE’s mission is to encourage survivors of sexual and dating violence to speak up and speak out about their assaults. Sharing their stories not only unites and empowers survivors everywhere to know that they are not alone, but it also helps the individuals healing process by giving them a voice to take charge and help prevent violence from happening to others. The Survivor Testimony section includes written, audio and video testimony from individuals throughout the country that have a story to tell. PAVE Founder Angela Rose even shares her own story here. Testimony is not just in the form of story sharing. Survivors often share poetry, music, art and video they have created as an outlet for dealing with their traumatic experiences. There is also an opportunity to listen to the inspiring prose of renowned slam poet Steve Connell and the music of award winning actress Angelica Page, who have both shared their voice through the art of sound and word.

The Survivor Testimony module is interactive. Not only can users watch, read and listen to other’s testimonies, they can share their own story but uploading an audio, written or video testimony. This section also offers a community forum through the blogfrog.com that allows users to discuss the testimonies or any issues of sexual violence in an open forum. The forum will be moderated by PAVE and SOC so as to prevent any malicious or triggering content.

PAVE Today

The PAVE Today module connects users to PAVE’s interactive up to date website. The module connects to PAVE’s social media streams from Twitter and Facebook so users have the opportunity to get action alerts for things like signing a petition or getting involved in arts based poster or post card campaign. They also get PAVE’s newsfeed which boasts several articles a week discussing current events in the sexual violence prevention world, such as new techniques, breakthroughs, and legal battles being faced by survivors. Access to the website allows users to access even more content for learning how to prevent sexual and dating violence.

Security on Campus

The Security on Campus module similarly connects users to SOC’s website. However, it also provides college aged students with information about their rights on campus. Sexual and dating violence is even more prevalent on college campuses. This module starts the discussion about what that is and provides specified preventative information for tailored to the college demographic.

Get Involved

The last module the Shatter the Silence mobile application is the Get Involved section (this section has not as of the date of submission been built into the prototype). The Get Involved module lets users know how they can teach others how to prevent sexual violence. This section recapitulates other sections, like the sharing and uploading their own testimony and getting involved in the blogfrog community forum, but also teaches college students how to start a sexual and dating violence prevention student organization on their campus and teaches users how to do interactive arts based awareness campaigns in their communities.

 

Finally the Shatter the Silence application will be continually updated with the most up to date, professionally vetted information and prevention techniques. As social media functionality expands, so will the app. Both PAVE and SOC are committed to popularizing the app so it reaches as many potential users as possible.  Both PAVE and SOC have regular speaking engagements on college campuses that reach as many as 2000 students in a single meeting. Additionally we plan to network through our chapters and affiliate organizations, at our many conference appearances, our websites and social media outlets. This easy to use, interactive application will do wonders to educate Americans, especially those that are in the target, college aged, population, to prevent sexual and dating violence from occurring in their own lives and the lives of others. Please vote for PAVE and Security on Campus’ mobile application to Shatter the Silence of sexual and dating violence!

 

Females Veterans, Victims of Sexual Assault During Service

http://blog.usnavyseals.com/2010/08/are-women-vets-getting-limited-access-to-health-care.html

An unsettling article recently published on the BBC News Magazine website overviews the various spheres of torment females who serve in the armed forces risk experiencing – including sexual assault.

Military sexual trauma, MST, includes sexual harassment and sexual assault. It is called ‘Rape by Rank’ because often perpetrators are victims’ colleagues, fellow soldier in arms. The suffering that is already a part of any soldiers time spent away from home and loved ones is worsened by complete betrayal within the unity and trust that is supposed to exist within any military unit.

This type of community goes past the reality that every woman and man is someone’s child or loved one. In this type of community every woman and man is a sister or brother. That is the idea that should develop when you train or work in an environment where trusting everyone around you with your life and trusting their life to you is a core part of military life. One victim shared in the article that she and fellow female soldiers would make sure they went to the showers together, which shows the heightened defensive environment created by MST.

Unfortunately this is not just an issue in the US military.  ‘Skype scandal reveals a decades-old rape culture in Australia’s military,’ is a recent post on Feministing about the Australian Defense Force’s response to cadets experiencing sexual assault perpetrated by fellow cadets.

According to the article, 14.5% of active members in the military are women and 15% (according to recorded reports) of female veterans experience military sexual assault. It talked about how these women deal with the same negative effects of warfare as men including PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I feel there has been a lot of focus on addressing this when soldiers return from deployment, and there should be just as much attention given to cases of Military sexual trauma. It is a terrible truth that this happens within the armed forces community, but it is even worse that military administration is not actively working against it.

I think it is going to take administrative action for structural change in the environment it creates for our military – but where does that start? What does it take to induce action by those in positions of power to create change?

- Sarah

News story to check out: Latinos Decry ‘Secure Communities’ In D.C.

This story caught my attention yesterday while listening to the morning news.

A current issue in Washington, D.C. is one we are likely to face in different cities nationwide. As the federal government takes action against illegal immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) works with local law enforcement agencies to use arrest records to check for undocumented immigrants. ‘Secure Communities’ is aimed at deporting criminals who are undocumented immigrants.

The story addresses the resulting problem of ‘Secure Communities’ of further silencing victims of domestic abuse who are also undocumented immigrants because they do not want to risk deportation themselves.

The article explains that in many reported cases of domestic abuse the victim and abuser are initially arrested until law enforcers fully address the situation to identify what happened and who was at fault.

Picture URL: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/content/features/detail/778/

(also availabe in Spanish)

This further complicates victims of sexual assault, who are also undocumented immigrants, from reporting these crimes and getting help. The obstacles that already exist for these women include limited English language skills and lack of knowledge of the resources available to them. All of these, including fear caused by ‘Secure Communities’ then become a factor abusive partners can use to keep power over the victim.

Does your town or city participate in ‘Secure Communities’? How did your community react to the policy?  Or, how do you think this would affect your community?

Check Out the Great Work at UW Madison PAVE!

UW Madison PAVE Staff

UW Madison PAVE Staff

PAVE’s Founding Chapter at UW Madison is really shaking things up! Read the following articles about their great work:

Help Exists for Domestic Abuse Victims

UW Madison PAVE Teaches abuse survivors how to get the help they need.

PAVE Action against A new bill promoting abstinence education in Wisconsin

Way to Shatter the Silence UW Madison PAVE!