Over the years, technology has helped improved our lives in so many ways. This is most prominent in advancements in medicine, work productivity, and entertainment. Although, we should work towards a progressive and bountiful life, we must work on becoming better people as well. What does this mean? This means that our advancements should include the betterment of mankind as ethical and honorable beings, working towards a just and beautiful world. How do we do this? The first step is in addressing the social issues that need to be addressed, like abuse. The second is developing technology, or incorporating existing technology and advancements in order to help victims and could-be victims. On a happy note, this is already being done by some people. Here are 4 examples of how people created or incorporated technology in helping victims and could-be victims of abuse:
1. Social Media as a source of Information Dissemination
The beauty of social media is that it’s so easy for worthy content to spread like wildfire, as long as you know how and where to properly disseminate the content. This fact is easily taken advantage of by big corporations for the purposes of marketing and advertising. But good people in the world have caught on and have started utilizing social media platforms to raise awareness, disseminate information, prevention, and solutions for different kinds of abuse. You know how some Facebook posts give you tips on what to do when you feel like someone is following you or posts about what the latest modus operandi is? That’s already a way of properly using social media for the purposes of safety and social responsibility.
2. Robb Frenette’s Anti-bullying helpline via VoIP
BullyingCanada is a free helpline which serves as a ‘round-the-clock support system for bullying victims, parents, and teachers, in several U.S. states and every Canadian province. The trouble with systems like this is that it could get very expensive. While the people on the other side of the helpline are mostly volunteers, the sheer cost of technology needed is enough to give you a migraine. This is where RingCentral business VoIP comes in. Because of cloud-based communications technology, BullyingCanada is able to reach out and be sought out by victims and other concerned people without having to worry about extremely large phone bills and expensive equipment.
3. On-Watch App
Jill Campbell founded and created the OnWatch when they participated in the Obama Administration’s technology challenge “Apps Against Abuse”. Her vision and the hard work of her team, sought to find a solution to the high incidences of abuse and sexual violence of women in college. This app allows you to transmit critical information by email, text, and social media. This also allows you easy access to essential support systems like your friends and family. With just 2 taps, you can check in with friends, call 911 or campus police, send SOS messages, and send GPS information automatically. If events or activities don’t go according to plan, you don’t have to tap multiple times just to place a call. This should give you a bit of peace of mind and security next time you go on a blind date or when you’re walking alone to your home.
4. Ad that contains an Anti-abuse Message only Visible to Children
Lenticular printing is a technique which allows people to see two or more separate images, from one picture, at different angles. It has been around for quite some time, but what’s amazing is how The Anar Foundation decided to use this already existing method. Typically, this is used in live optical illusions or on flat prayer cards of Catholic saints. The Anar Foundation, however, decided to use lenticular printing to put a “secret message” on their billboards against child abuse. An average adult will only see an image of a sad boy, with the message “Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it. However, an average child under 10 years old (based on statistics of the average height of children under 10), will see an image of the same boy, only battered and bruised with the helpline to call along with the message “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you” .
We have to applaud these innovators who decided to take part in stopping a vicious cycle: aggressors preying on victims, who at times grow to become aggressors as well. They have done their part, and more. It’s time we do ours. We do this by supporting their cause, patronizing the services, and at the very least, report abuse as soon as we see or experience it. Stop the cycle! Keep yourself informed, share the correct information, and report abuse as soon as it’s there.