In 2017, 76% of female undergraduates experiencing unwanted sexual penetration on Dartmouth College’s campus did not report the incident. That is to say, over three-quarters of women experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact decided to bear the burden alone, choosing not to report to any of the 14+ resources and agencies related to Dartmouth.
Female undergraduates reported that they did not think their experience was serious enough or didn’t want the person/people who did it to get into trouble. Even more troubling, they expressed that they did not contact any college resources because they did not know where to go, who to tell, or how to report. — We want to change that. We are here for these victims. We are here for you.
What it does
Here For You is a user-friendly online platform for any victim of sexual assault or harassment to tell their story, without feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or attacked—an issue commonly associated with in-person reporting. We believe victims and seek to end victim-blaming.
Here For You is data-driven, adding submissions to a graph that tracks the dates, locations, and people involved in sexual assault allegations. By doing so, Here For You provides invaluable insight into the frequency of sexual assault at certain campus locations and by perpetrators. This provides college administrators and protective services valuable information to prevent future incidents, thereby making our community safer.
How we built it
We coded the website using HTML and CSS, without Bootstrap, and launched it using surge.sh. We also created a database and linked it to the website using SQLite, Flask, and PHP.
Challenges we ran into
Here For You is the first website any of our team members have ever made; it was our first experience working in web development, in particular, coding in HTML/CSS. As a result, we challenged ourselves to learn as much as we could about web dev in 24 hours. We also had some technical difficulties launching our site when we tried using domain.com, but they sold us an invalid domain name and would not let us transfer the domain name to a separate hosting site. Finally, we ran into difficulties integrating our database with our webpage, as this was also part of our learning process.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our project would benefit the Dartmouth community, by providing victims an easily accessible platform to report incidents of sexual assault. Therefore, we believe in the urgency of the product we have created in terms of better understanding sexual assault on campus, including where it occurs most frequently. By providing this information to Dartmouth's departments and agencies monitoring sexual assault, we can work to prevent sexual assault campus.
What we learned
HTML, CSS, Flask, SQLite, PHP
We started from no experience in web development to coding our first website and creating a database for it!
What's next for Here for You
If Dartmouth chose to integrate the site, they would add security and a student identification portal to legitimize submissions. We also intend to integrate an algorithm that predicts likely times/dates/locations for future incidents and work to prevent these.