A new mobile app has been designed to help those affected by sexual assault work through their experience. The app, I’ve-Been-Violated , is one of four apps developed by the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence to reduce the risk of sexual assaults.
The primary function of the app allows those affected by sexual assault to record a video of themselves after an assault has taken place. The app prompts the user with questions to ensure no significant details are disregarded, App Brand Ambassador Holly Andre said.
“The goal of the app is to protect people, primarily students, who have been or are at risk of being assaulted,” Andre (sophomore-labor and employment relations) said.
“The app helps a person on their journey from victim to survivor,” ISCE Executive Director Michael Lissack said. “Our goal is to get Penn State to acquire the entire suite. Since Penn State is not registered with the app, we cannot provide Penn State students who use the app the resources of where to report an incident.”
The suite includes other apps to prevent sexual assault, such as We-Consent, The Party-Pass and What-About-No.
The We-Consent app allows users to make a recorded agreement consenting to sexual relations with one another. Lissack said the app’s main purpose is to spark a conversation about consent.
Over the summer, 50 sports teams, both male and female, were encouraged to use the app. Coaches reported that the app was used quite often by the players and no problems were reported, Dr. Lissack said.
The Party-Pass app is geared toward college students and sends confirmation emails to users stating they pledged not to engage in sex without consent, Lissack said.
What-About-No is an app designed to help users reject a partner, Lissack said.
Both We-Consent and I’ve-Been-Violated are free apps while Party-Pass and What-About-No cost $5, Lissack said.
While the I’ve-Been-Violated app is designed to help those affected by sexual assault cope with a difficult experience, the recording feature — which allows users to recount the event — may be troubling for some, Anna Jantz , graduate assistant for the Center for Women Students, said.
Some of the people affected by sexual assault may not realize the assault has taken place until after some time has passed, Jantz said.
“If the app’s questions are phrased in a certain way, that may make a survivor doubt themselves and reconsider reporting the assault,” Jantz said.
At all times, the video belongs to the user and can be shared with the police whenever the user is ready to come forward with the experience. Accessing a user’s video without his or her consent would be considered a copyright violation, Dr. Lissack said.
While a person affected by sexual assault has the option of discussing the matter with friends, anyone with information on a reported sexual assault will eventually be brought for questioning by the authorities. The app can act as an alternative confidant for those affected, Lissack said.
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