Large percentage of sexual assault and violence on campus take place in college on and off campus student residences. Very often the perpetrators and aggressors of campus sexual assault and rape are not strangers but classmates, housemates and close friends of the victims. We believe that with right interventions, many incidents of sexual violence and assault can be prevented even before situation escalates. And the interventions can be some thing as small as a simple knock on the door by a fellow housemate.
How it works
Students living in student residences download the app and select their current residences. A girl who feels uncomfortable with a boy in a room "requests a knock" from residents who live in the residence that she is currently in. Alerts are sent around 5 residents at once, and when any of the residents respond to the request, they are given clear directions to make an immediate intervention. Depending on the situation and the level of aggression, the student has options of : 1) contacting the residential staff directly 2) calling 911 Also, students can easily find helpful resources that are campus specific on the app.
Challenges I ran into
One of the challenges we ran into was how to prevent this "request a knock" from becoming a community alert, but rather a subtle preventative intervention. Our solution to this was to only contact 5 people at once in 5 min intervals and when request was fulfilled or cancelled, or the request was ignored, history of the alert is immediately erased from the receiver's application.
What's next for Knock
We want to add features that allow the victims to use a combination of volume, and home button in order to request a knock which would make her action more discreet.