Rape culture remains a big problem on college campuses, but many students still aren't sure how to access support networks and resources available to survivors after an assault. A new app created by anti-rape activists could change that.
The app is called ASK, which stands for Assault Services Knowledge, and it was developed in Washington, DC with the help of an activist group called Men Can Stop Rape. The group teamed up with the district's Mayor's Office of Victims Services to consolidate resources for survivors of sexual assault into one easy-to-access place.
A specialized version for college students, called UASK, is also available, and has already been implemented at all nine schools in Washington. "It centralizes, essentially, all of these different resources that survivors can access -- everything from being able to get a free Uber ride to a hospital to finding out what your university offers," Ariella Neckritz, president of Students Against Sexual Assault at GW, told NPR.
The app has been available for two years. According to Rachel Friedman, the deputy director of Men Can Stop Rape, it's been downloaded by 14,000 people.
It's sort of like a phone book for a worst case scenario, providing instant access to 55 phone numbers for services that can help survivors get the care and legal support they need. So far, only Washington schools are using the app, but hopefully the idea spreads to help assault victims across the country.
And if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, call the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673), or visit Rainn.org.
To learn what you can do to stop sexual assault and take the pledge, head over to It’s On Us.