The 21st century has been defined by the ever-evolving repertoire of technology, devices, and inventions that ultimately connect us across temporal and spatial boundaries. This has been the era of smart phones, tablets, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, amongst many others. The challenge of ending violence against women has not remained static but has similarly morphed to join the digital era. Violence against women now not only occupies its traditional spaces: cyberbullying, cyberstalking, digital voyeurism, and a whole gamut of new forms of violence have become prevalent.
This article highlights 16 tech innovations or platforms that address violence against women and can be used to prevent or to stop incidences of gender-based violence. Together, they show how we can reclaim technology and use it to make positive contributions to the lives of women around the globe and hopefully invite some creative spark for the next technological invention to be used in this cause.
Written by Rashad Brathwaite; Edited by Regina Yau and Crystal Smith.
The APPS against Abuse was a challenge sponsored by The United States Department of Health and Human Services, along with the White House Office of Science and Technology to facilitate the design of applications for handheld devices that could be used in the fight against violence against women. App developers were challenged to include real-time check-in capabilities, privacy safeguards, links to domestic violence resources, and social media integration.
“What it is?” is a quiz games that seeks to challenge mentalities about sexual violence against youth. This interactive game is a fun way to address a serious topic, walking the player through varying levels and providing information about sexual assault, harassment, abuse, consent, and tips as to the best way to help a survivor.
Circle of 6 is an iPhone and Android app that allows users to access six of their closest contacts when faced with a threatening situation The discrete app is built with an easy interface and with just 2 touches of the screen, one’s circle can be contacted. It allows a user to send a text message to pre-selected contacts to inform them of her location and how they can help. Don’t let violence happen in your circle!
This year’s winning entry of the “Life. Love. Game” Design Challenge is “DatingDangers1.0.” This is an interactive quiz that appears deceptively simple before advancing into a more detailed knowledge of dating violence. This initiative and these games are must haves in the arsenal addressing this form of violence against women.
EyeWatch is an Indian personal safety app. Eyewatch has some unique features, including free fall and shaking activation. The inbuilt audio/video/image support enables the application to even send the images, videos and sound bytes along with the location in SOS alerts.
Guard My Angel is a free iPhone and Android app, which alarms your emergency contacts, even sending them your GPS coordinates. A unique feature of this app is that if you are immobilized, the Guard My Angel servers will trace your last known location to help others trace your whereabouts from that point.
Harassmap is a social initiative launched in 2011 in Egypt. It aims to protect women through an SMS reporting system for sexual harassment. The SMS system provides safe and reliable ways to report sexual harassment while referring users to essential services.
The Hopeline App connects willing donors with the Verizon Wireless national cell phone-recycling program through location-based technology guiding users to the nearest Verizon store. The app allows for secure text-to-donate and can also be used to donate $10 to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The app also creates a community of volunteers, victims, and survivors who can share stories and outreach efforts!
This app is the leading technology in facilitating the safe, reliable and effective creation of evidentiary documentation about abuse that is ultimately useful for prosecution of perpetrators. It is described as a “unique packaging of testimony, documentation, perpetrator historical profiling and pre-collected evidence delivered to established safe and legal persons.”
Since 2008, Jennifer Ann’s Group has encouraged and challenged video game designers to create games to address the issue of teen dating violence. Over the course of the last 5 years, the Life.Love.Game Design Challenge has attracted several awesome youth-friendly games that are educational and interesting, providing information to help young people identify all the signs of an abusive relationship and how to get help.
Being harassed? Not sure how to respond? There’s an app for that! The “Not Your Baby App” is an app designed for the iPhone and created through a partnership between Hollaback and METRAC. Once installed, this modern fun-styled app allows a user to indicate their social setting and the person who’s harassing them. Not My Baby uses the experiences of others then creates suggestions to help the user get out of this situation.
Effortlessly send information by phone, email, text, and social media to your chosen networks, campus police, and even emergency services. An online site that provides even greater information such as safety-plans and what a bystander can do buttresses this incredible app. Stay Onwatch!
For fashionistas everywhere, Stockholm-based social enterprise start-up P.F.O. (Protective Fashion Object) has created what they call the world’s first designer personal alarm bracelet. Features include a personal alarm and safety app. The bracelet is designed to be activated to send an SOS to designated friends or security services with one pull. Users can also download the safety app to their iPhone. The PFO One bracelet collection is designed in collaboration with Swedish designer Oscar Magnusson.
The R3 App allows medical professionals to assess domestic abuse victims through 4 simple screening questions based on the HITS screen tool. A high score alerts the professional to refer the patient or to offer immediate help. With 91% accuracy, this app truly facilitates patient ease and efficiency!
Sex Offender Tracker gives citizens and residents of the U.S. access to The National Sex Offender Registry in a second. This informative app provides users with detailed knowledge of the offender, a bio, and keeps users up to date with email alerts of any additions to the registry.
TD411 was designed to bring awareness about teen dating violence & electronic victimisation. This project was supported the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, and combines a mix of interactive quizzes, music and engaging stories to help teens figure out the maze that is teen dating.
Searching for an affordable gift that is both empowering and uplifting for someone in need of that extra encouragement and good vibes this Christmas? Check out our “16 For 16” digital EP featuring 5 songs aimed at lifting the spirits and empowering survivors of Violence Against Women worldwide via all major online music stores including iTunes, Amazon, Google Music, Spotify and many more. Prices range from US$4.95 to US$6.45 depending on region and retailer and 100% of the proceeds go towards keeping The Pixel Project’s programmes and projects running. Just click on the buttons below to be taken to the EP’s download page in your preferred online music store: