Tech vs. Abuse

Woman texting on a phone

 

The Tech vs Abuse grant initiative is supporting 10 organisations to develop digital products and services which play a supportive role in the context of domestic violence and abuse, whilst minimising the associated risks.

The initiative is based on a six month research project commissioned by Comic Relief and undertaken by Chayn, SafeLives and Snook in 2016 (for more information see www.techvsabuse.info). They gathered insights from over 200 survivors of domestic abuse and 350 practitioners who support them. Together, we developed five key design challenges, intended to inspire innovation in the design and delivery of services for people affected by domestic abuse, both online and offline.

The half a million pounds grants initiative launched in January 2017, funded jointly through the Tampon Tax Fund, a partnership between Comic Relief and HM Government, and the Big Lottery Fund. This provided funding for projects focussed on technological innovation and creative digital solutions, which improve the safety of women and girls affected by domestic abuse.

Find out about the digital solutions developed in response to the design challenges below.

1. Fifteen minute window

Provide or curate key information online for women experiencing domestic abuse in a way which is easy to find, simple to navigate and quick to interact with.

Bright Sky logo

Hestia

In 2016 Hestia launched Bright Sky a free to download mobile app providing support and information for anyone who may be in an abusive relationship – or for those concerned about someone they know. Key features include a UK-wide directory of support services, and the My Journal tool, where users can securely log abuse in text, video, audio or photo form. 

2. Effective real-time support services

Enable women to find and access services for support (including referrals) when required, day or night, seamlessly and with minimal logistical and emotional burden.

Chinese Information and Advice Centre logo

Chinese Information and Advice Centre

The Chinese Information and Advice Centre are developing a digital platform on WeChat, encouraging the increasing number of Chinese sex workers in London that face violent abuse and sexual exploitation to seek support. Users will be able to access practical guide and advice anonymously, breaking down barriers that often prevent them getting help, from language issues to fear of perpetrators.

 

3. Safer digital-footprint

Provide people affected by domestic abuse and frontline professionals the confidence and knowledge they need to use technology and stay online safely, with full control over their online data, privacy settings and social media accounts.

SafeLives

Safelives

The Addressing E-vulnerability project currently being run by Safelives seeks to help frontline practitioners to help victims of abuse to use technology and stay online safely, with control over their online data, privacy settings and social media accounts.

Refuge

Refuge

After seeing substantial increase in the number of cases in which perpetrators misuse technology to abuse, isolate and endanger women and girls, Refuge realised they needed to adapt their approach. Over the next 12 months the organisation will be training its staff, improving its technical infrastructure and auditing systems to ensure it’s ready to protect abused women and children from all forms of tech abuse. 

4. Accessible legal and financial information

Create engaging, accessible and digestible information on the legal process or the financial situation women find themselves in, connecting to support and advice where relevant.

Cithrah foundation logo

Cithrah

Based in Northern Ireland, The Cithrah Foundation are developing an app called The Keep that will enable victims of domestic abuse to record and store the factual details of incidents simply and securely. The log of events will be accumulated remotely with a high level of robust security protecting it – allowing victims to gather legal evidence and keep a record for counselling purposes. 

Scottish women's rights centre logo

Rape Crisis Scotland

The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre and Media Coop are developing an app for women experiencing stalking that will be a quick, convenient and safe way to record incidents of stalking and their impact. Developed with the input of victim-survivors of stalking, FollowApp is user-friendly, and will support women to store information about incidents securely regardless of whether or not they want to report to the police.
 

Chayn

Chayn

Soul Medicine is a multi-lingual learning platform developed by Chayn, delivering micro-courses for women experiencing abuse - including resources for migrants and refugees. Current resources can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Soul Medicine’s bite-sized courses present key information in a user-friendly way, aiding the well-being and recovery of women. The project is open source and run by volunteers. 

5. Realising it’s abuse

Use the creative opportunities of the web to raise awareness of what an abusive relationship looks like, provoking women and girls experiencing abuse to recognise this and get support.

Aanchal women's aid

Aanchal Women’s Aid

Following a two year GP training programme which raised awareness on domestic and sexual abuse, Aanchal Women’s Aid are developing a web based app that allows GP surgeries to easily identify the signs and symptoms of domestic and sexual abuse.

The Mix

The Mix

The Mix’s Tech vs. Abuse project seeks to help young women identify abuse and find the right support around the issue. One of the resources in development is a chatbot, which allows young women to work through a series of questions that leads them to understand if they are in an abusive situation and go on for further support.

The Haven

The Haven 

Working with digital partner Neon Tribe, The Haven aims to work with survivors to develop a creative, digital tool to help women who are experiencing abuse realise it sooner. The project hopes to change women’s lives by empowering them to take a safe, informal, self-start approach away from abuse and find routes to support.