James Parendo • over 11 years ago
Ideas on environment when app is used
i would like to provide my input
i think consideration should be given to what the enviornment may be when someone may need this app, namely the college environment of course
i believe the winning app should be somewhat discreet in providing help, or at least the option to be discreet
basically, my thinking is that an individual would not want the person standing in front of them, who even may be their suspected predator, to know they are utilizing what is basically a self help tool
not to say the person would be or should be, but i believe it is human nature, at least here in the states, to feel embarassed when you need help or do not know how to handle a situation
please consider my input as you develop an app
thank you for your time and consideration. may the winning app help thousands of those in need
Comments are closed.
Audie Atienza Manager • over 11 years ago
Thank you for your comments. We have added more specifics about app requirements in the "judging criteria" section, including the privacy issue you raised.
Rachel Donat • over 11 years ago
Perhaps my input is further on the aesthetic side than James'.
I would suggest that the tablet/format would be gender neutral. From the 1 in 6 men being sexual assaulted to the attacks in the gender and sexual minorities community, namely the transgender and transsexual community that it would benefit all humans at risk to not have this highly gendered.
Inclusivity would alleviate some of the discomfort some app users may feel in reaching out for help by using this app. The winning app is going to be a great thing for so many people and I thank everyone who put this idea forth to Challenge.
Marissa Aguilar • over 11 years ago
Maybe the Rave Guardian system that SUNY Oswego uses would give someone good ideas. The alarm is only activated when the person feels they are in danger, and has a timer for another type of alert.
"Register here for Rave Guardian.
Rave Guardian is a safety feature being provided for you free of charge by SUNY Oswego. Rave Guardian transforms your mobile phone into a personal alarm beacon. In the event of an emergency, critical information you elect to share will be provided to SUNY Oswego University Police to help them more quickly respond and help you. Take a moment to register now.
Is Guardian easy to use? Yes, all you need to do is register once and then save the Guardian phone numbers into your phone.
Does Rave Guardian require users to have a certain kind of phone? No, Guardian works on any phone and any carrier.
Is Rave Guardian always tracking me? No, your privacy is of utmost importance. You can only be located if you have asked for help and Rave Guardian is only enabled when you choose to activate an alarm on your phone.
Can University Police track me whenever they want? No, University Police will only be able to obtain your information if you have asked for help. Rave Guardian is only activated when you chose to activate it on your phone.
Will Rave Guardian let other people like my family or friends track me? No, never. Only University Police will ever have access to your information and only when you allow it.
How does my profile information get collected and sent to University Police? You will opt-in to this service and provide as much as possible as part of the registration process" (SUNY Oswego 2011).
SUNY Oswego. 2011 Rave Guardian alert. Retrieved July 18, 2011 at
andrea Costa • over 11 years ago
I'd like to know more about targeting. For the most part, this sounds like it's geared toward young people, obviously with Smart Phones (hence the app). What's this app to do that differentiates itself from twitter, or FB CheckIn? A controlling mate could be watching the FB activity of their partner, so having a secondary secret place might make sense. But what abused person actually goes to an app to continue on their course? I believe the trouble is before you get to this point, so a game that subtlely teaches correct behaviour and self-worth is of greater value.
Jason Crawford • over 11 years ago
I love the idea of this contest, good to see The White House deploying technological solutions to big problems. But I don’t see how the social media aspect of this challenge is going to help. I think people use social media as a crutch to seem progressive these days, and it’s simply not the answer to everything. There are glaring dangers in relying on untrained people to respond to a distress call or notification. That could give a false sense of security thinking that because they push a button that sends a text or tweet (or whatever the process is) to friends or folks within their social network that one of those people will able to, first, receive the alert and, second, come to their rescue. If they do respond, a bad situation could get worse, and they might end up being a victim as well. I’d leave it up to the authorities. I see it all the time on tv shows like, “What Would You Do?”, it’s challenging for people to get involved — it’s just human nature.
Beth Stafa • over 11 years ago
Reading through - my concern is with regards to the app - what if your trusted friend is a perpetrator? I would be concerned about the GPS capability of the application - specifically stalking comes to mind. Does the app have the capability to turn off/on the GPS? The winning app - should have this capability.
I have to keep bringing it back to prevention and the definition of prevention - stopping the violence before it happens by stopping the perpetator. I could see the focus be directed towards the victim and become one of those lighted call boxes. How will this app be used to change cultural norms. Meaning - I see someone who is harassing someone (Male or Female) are there other people in the room who will stick up for me if I step in. Men of Strength talk about wearing a pin or a shirt and more willing to step in. Is this the purpose of the appilcation.
Finally - I would like to see prevention researchers be a part of this to see if there are positive measurable outcomes.
Audie Atienza Manager • over 11 years ago
Thank you to all those who have provided feedback and comments. We appreciate your interest and enthusiasm. We will take all these suggestions into consideration in the next iteration/revision of this challenge.
Katie Hanna • over 11 years ago
I agree with Beth's comment and I think that the language "keep track of each other’s whereabouts" in the description is problematic. I think the winning app. selected needs to focus on prevention, scenario-based issues and bystander intervention.
Angela Phan • over 11 years ago
Prevention is the key. There are too many ifs with an application designated for victims. Unfortunately, I believe that teaching both boys and girls on domestic violence and abuse. I believe that the information that the youth receives will help them be more aware of some situations.
Audie Atienza Manager • over 11 years ago
The various discussion points are helpful. This challenge is focused primarily on prevention. We are looking for apps/tools that enable young adults to stay connected with trusted friends and allies, and avoid being isolated when out and about. "Keeping track of each other's whereabouts" is intended to help young adults stay connected with trusted friends. We welcome innovative thinking on how to do this in a way that is discreet and optimizes privacy and safety (for users, trusted friends, and potentially bystanders). Having the user control this functionality in an easy way may be key here.
Again, prevention is the focus here. While we ask for links to domestic violence and sexual abuse resources that could be shared for those who may need that information, providing in-depth information on how to intervene in cases of current violence and abuse is not the primary thrust of this challenge (and are most appropriately handled by organizations best suited to manage the complexity of stopping abuse/violence). Apps submitted for this challenge should focus primarily on prevention, rather than interventions for those experiencing abuse.
Darin Dorsey • over 11 years ago
I think there needs to be a distinction between risk reduction and prevention. Though I don't see this as an intervention focused project at all, I fail to see how this in any way prevents or deters a perpetrator from attempting a sexual assault, though I do see how it can reduce the risk for the victim. The issue with risk reduction is that the perpetrator still exists, and is still capable of assaulting someone who may not have access to risk reducing resources. So while you've prevented the result of a perpetrators actions, you are not addressing the motivation or foundation of that perpetrator's actions. This can be problematic in presenting an expectation that people should reduce their risk of sexual assault by taking measures such as downloading this app (or carrying a whistle, not going out at night, avoiding dark areas, etc.) - the result is that survivors of assaults who didn't take these measures are then criticized - which again diverts the focus away fromt he perpetrator.I think we've all seen this in victim blaming attitudes. ( i.e. Shouldn't have drank that much alcohol, should have told her friends where she was going, shouldn't have gone out alone.)
I want to be clear that I do think that risk reduction is important and does serve a great purpose in keeping people safe - it just shouldn't be presented as prevention, because it is not.