Our theory of change is based on the ecological model of violence prevention, which focuses on community factors rather than focusing on individual prevention. We believe that by encouraging self-reports of unreported sexual assaults, communities can document and understand the accurate level and nature of local sexual assaults and that this data can be used by communities for prevention. The detail that these reports provide tells more than location/time/date but provides a picture into the lived reality of victims. These reports also uncover spaces that provide “cover” for incidents to occur, and reveal norms of sexually violent behavior in these spaces, that are reinforced when nothing is done. The power of these reports is their ability to provide cathartic relief for victims, and also provide a way for victims to warn other potential victims.
We believe that community residents must act in concert to address sexual assault. Studies suggest that even if individuals receive messages that sexual violence is unacceptable, other community members may still be sending messages that support sexual violence, making the original messaging ineffective. Because the Safecity app generates crowd maps, citizens and community organizations can use the data for individual and collective purposes. Moreover, since the app is launched through ongoing dialogue, residents and community leaders can work together to create innovative solutions. If communities create the data and solutions, the solutions have a better chance of being successful.
Our theory of change is consistent with clinical psychologist, George Albee’s remarks: “no mass disorder afflicting humankind has been eliminated or brought under control by attempts at treating the affected individual.”
Click here to read our Theory of Change.