Did you know that 85 percent of sexual assault victims do not report their cases? And for those who eventually do, authorities often question the authenticity, wondering what took the victim so long?
We see this all of the time. Last year, more than fifty women stepped forward together to out Bill Cosby for drugging and raping them. Many people accused the women of lying because they took so long to come forward.
Also last year, pop singer Kesha explained why she hadn’t released new music in years. Her producer, Dr. Luke, had been sexually assaulting and raping her, driving her away from making music with him. Under her contract, she isn’t allowed to leave and make music with anybody else. Desperate to get out of her contract, she took Dr. Luke to court. Kesha’s story has been questioned for nearly a year. Just today, Kesha’s claims were dismissed.
But now, technology is on our side. To help victims, the Affirmative Consent Division presents the I’ve-Been-Violated app. The app is a first of its kind to allow victims of sexual assault to confidentially record contemporaneous evidence with video and audio of an incident.
The goal of the app is to eliminate any questions with the credibility of the accident by allowing victims to immediately record information after an incident just happened. The evidence is double-encrypted and stored offline. It also uses geo-coding technology to store information about where the user was when they recorded the video.
As a legal safeguard, the information that the user creates is never available to the user, but only through appropriate authorities or by court order to ensure that information was not compromised.
The creators of the app recommend launching it immediately after an incident:
- Get to a Safe Place: As soon as possible, get to a safe location before starting the app.
- Activated and Run the App: Turn on the app and being to tell your story by following the on-screen instructions. The app will prompt you on what to say while recording video and audio.
- Recording Encrypted & Stored: An encrypted record of your story is created and stored for future retrieval through the proper channels (not available directly to the user).
When the victim is ready to do so, they can contact the authorities and report the assault, where they can then access the recording the user made. Having previously recorded proof would help maintain the victim’s credibility.
The I’ve-Been-Violated app is a part of a suite of apps provided by the Affirmative Consent Division to help change the context and conversations around sexual consent on college campuses. The app is free and can be found here.
For more information, please visit we-consent.org. With any questions, contact the ISCE Executive Director, Dr. Michael Lissack, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-710-9565.