Introducing Project Guardrail
What #MeToo can do to include PREVENTION along with awareness
Project Guardrail is about
changing the environment which presently enables sexual predation
so that everyone knows that victims' stories will be saved and
heard -- we do this through education and a mobile app.
Harvey Weinstein opened our eyes to a massive need: millions of
victims of sexual assault and harassment have gone unprotected
because they feel unable to tell their story on their terms.
The past month has reinforced a few sad truths that we at
Empowering Victims have known all too well for the three years we
have been working on this issue:
We believe that the single greatest
preventative measure we, as a society, can take is to make it well
understood that victim’s stories will be told, that silence cannot
be permanently coerced, and that the story belongs to the victim
and no one else.
- Many perpetrators have no idea
that they are doing something wrong while they are doing
it. That realization only occurs later if ever.
- Many victims have only a vague
idea that something wrong is being done to them whilst it is
occurring. That realization only occurs upon
reflection and discussion.
- Because the realization of the
“wrong” is delayed, control of the story matters greatly.
- 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 victim, the
greater the possibility of injustice to all, and the higher
the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated.
Just as guardrails serve to protect us on mountain roads, story
preservation can serve to protect potential victims of sexual
assault and harassment. Giving prospective victims an easy
and reliable way to control their story reassures everyone.
The potential perpetrator knows that silence cannot be certain and
must weigh the risk of disclosure – disclosure on the victim’s
terms. Empowering Victims has the beta of such a guardrail -- an
app which allows victims to record their story and have it
preserved in a manner which ensures credibility and
anonymity. Because retrieval of the recordings can only
happen by appropriate authorities there is no risk of public
exposure -- the app is not a tool for potential
blackmail. Instead the app is the first version of a story
holding safeguard -- a means for victims to control both the
telling of the story and the timing of that telling. Our app
has been 3 years in the making and has been downloaded by more
than 50,000 users. But, we need your help to turn the beta
into the game changer it can be.
Please see http://empoweringvictims.org/NextSteps.pdf
Border Wall (an article on Medium)