Problem

Research shows victims are unlikely to go to the police for help because they simultaneously love and fear their abuser. But current tools are awkward to use, and only let victims contact police or send a generic message to friends and family for help.

Research

We read dozens of victims’ accounts and found the same patterns: abusers are controlling and have access to the victim’s phone. So, we’ve found a way to give power back to victims by letting them discreetly get help when and how they need it. First, we disguised Taski as something everyone uses: a to-do list.

The App

Hidden within the to-do list is the core functionality of the app: being able to customize who, how, and what to alert your friends and family. Imagine Jessica, who knows that if she gets in a fight with her abuser, he will calm down if someone interrupts their fight. So she can begin by adding key contacts and can choose whether or not it’s safe for someone to call or text back. Next, Jessica can choose a combination of gestures (to prevent accidental reporting), who to contact, and what that message says. The problem with existing solutions is that victims can’t customize alerts for different situations. Victims should be able to tell their support system how to respond. Victims are normally controlled – Taski gives them back some control. Jessica can choose an intervention that she knows works for her situation so she won’t have to pay for it later: “Denise - call me right now and ask if we want to join you for dinner.”

Strengths

Now that the victim has chosen how they want the app to respond and can send those responses through a few simple motions, there’s no hesitation to use Taski when they are most likely to report the abuse - in the heat of the moment. Taski then sends the custom messages to friends and family, giving them guidance on how to take action and break the cycle of abuse including: a link to information that educates friends and family how to help and the ability to intervene and diffuse the situation with crucial information like location, license plate numbers, and custom instructions written by the victim themselves.

Conclusion

We understand the barriers for victims to report abuse, and that’s why we’ve designed Taski to directly address these problems and empower women to safely alert their friends and family in their own way.

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