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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!