Project Guardrail is a joint technology initiative – by Empowering Victims, the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), the Tom and Ethel Bradley Foundation, and the Affirmative Consent Project – designed to bridge the gap between reliable story preservation and latent reporting of sexual violence. It changes the environment that presently enables sexual predation so that everyone knows that survivors’ stories will be saved and heard.
As we pass the six-month anniversary of the #METOO movement, the time has come for us all take action to make Barry Diller’s March prediction right, which says “Other than psychopaths, I think all of this bad behavior is finished.” Talk and publicity can only take us so far. Education is a needed first step. The ultimate goal, however, is changed behavior. Diller believes that “all men are guilty . . . [on] a spectrum.” Assuming he is right means that society must take steps to keep behavior on the mild side of that spectrum.
Technology can aid this transition. Millions of victims of sexual assault and harassment have gone unprotected because they feel unable to tell their story on their own terms, in their own time. Their stories get mixed up, and sometimes even lost. They are not ready to deal with their trauma in any manner suitable to current law enforcement standards of contemporaneous reporting.
The past year has reinforced several unfortunate truths that we, as a global society have blatantly ignored:
- Because of a lack of negative social signals, many perpetrators have no idea they are doing something wrong while they are doing it. That realization only occurs later, if ever. This is evidenced by sexual harassment in the workplace, the “we were both really drunk” date rape excuse prevalent on college campuses, and the “but, she didn’t say no” response we’ve all heard too many times.
- Many survivors have only a vague idea that something wrong is being done to them whilst it is occurring. In the meantime, they may blame themselves (or be blamed by others), they may lose stability in the rest of their life, and their story goes uncorroborated and is lost.
- The perpetrators are often in a position of power and use that position to silence the story.
- The greater the delay in telling the story, the greater the injury to the survivor, the greater the possibility of injustice to all, and the higher the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated.
About the Project Guardrail app:
Preventing sexual assault and harassment is our mission. Just as guardrails serve to protect us on mountain roads, story preservation protects potential victims of sexual assault and harassment, giving everyone access to an easy and reliable way to control their own stories. If a potential perpetrator knows that silence cannot be certain because of the presence of the Guardrail, the app becomes a preventative tool.
Presently, Empowering Victims has the beta of Project Guardrail: an app which allows survivors to record and preserve their story in a manner which ensures credibility and, equally as important, anonymity. Because retrieval of the recordings (which are stored securely and anonymously offline) can only occur through appropriate authorities, there is no risk of public exposure. The app is a survivor’s virtual safe space and confidante – a means for them to control both how and when the story is shared.
Project Guardrail’s app project is three years in the making and has been downloaded by more than 50,000 users. Project Guardrail works much like a vaccine – only when a majority of a community both has the app and is aware that others have it do the preventative aspects kick in. We are seeking corporate, educational, and community partners to help us carry our message and app to the masses. The ideal partner could be a major dating app like Tinder or Bumble. Their users would have a collective sense of safety knowing that no distasteful incident could be silenced. Imagine if AT&T or T-Mobile installed Project Guardrail on all new phones as a system app. Society would know that the coercive silence Harvey Weinstein and other predators rely on no longer exists. Join us to protect and prevent victims everywhere.
Company Name: Empowering Victims (ISCE)
Email: Send Email
Address:14 Stratford Road
State: MA 01945
Country: United States