Friday, June 22 , 2018, 4:45 am | Overcast 60º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Online Support System for Sexual-Violence Survivors Launches in Tri-County Region

In Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Maria counties, Global Change Project Inc., a Santa Barbara-based global 501(c)(3) organization, is piloting a technological solution to the most common obstacles faced in addressing sexual violence—namely survivors staying silent about their victimization and the resulting lack of data needed to solve this problem that plagues our communities.

Whether victims of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, sex trafficking or forced prostitution, an estimated 87 percent of victims never report or get needed recovery support.

Based upon available data, including a 2013 global study by the World Health Organization, Global Change Project has calculated that in real numbers more than 1.14 billion women, men and children—18% of the world’s population—suffer from sexual violence in silence.

“Being sexually violated is one of the most horrifying things that can happen to a person, but even worse is to suffer this tragedy alone,” says Jeni Ambrose, Global Change Project Executive Director.  

“When sexual violence survivors stay silent, not only do they lack the protection and support they need but our law enforcement, public health officials, lawmakers and communities lack vital information needed to prevent further acts of sexual violence and keep our communities safe,” Ambrose said.  

MapYourVoice can offer sexual violence survivors a place to take an important first step on their road to recovery,” said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley in her endorsement of MapYourVoice.

“As a non-profit aimed at supporting and strengthening the existing survivor support network, MapYourVoice can play a vital unifying roll within the community to help solve the serious social problem of sexual violence,” Dudley said.

MapYourVoice is a social web-mapping platform where survivors can safely and anonymously share their experiences, easily access the complete support network available within their communities and participate in a confidential social network with other survivors.

With the aggregate data garnered from anonymous intake questionnaires, MapYourVoice will be able to provide innumerable customized data sets for law enforcement, academia, public health officials and advocates to support their efforts to develop well-founded, effective solutions to ending sexual violence.

"MapYourVoice will illuminate the lives of women, men and children sexual violence survivors by giving them a place to tell their stories and will harness the power of big data to address the issue of sexual violence,” said Lori Lander Goodman, Chief Development Officer of Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) in CALM’s official endorsement of MapYourVoice.

“MapYourVoice is designed to capitalize on worldwide smart phone/device use, the viral potential of social media and web geo-mapping technology,” says Ambrose. “Like the ‘Bill Cosby Effect,’ you start with one brave survivor speaking up, and before you know it, three dozen more have the courage to come forward as well.”

A crowdfunding campaign is currently underway to support the development of the Beta Version of MapYourVoice.

We need everyone who cares about this issue to support and help fund the project, which allows us to move forward with the tri-county launch.

The campaign can be accessed through our website or directly at https://www.crowdrise.com/mapyourvoice/fundraiser/mapyourvoicebeta.

Global Change Project is also seeking partnerships with visionary philanthropic individuals and corporate entities who want to make a big impact on the issue of sexual violence and are interested in being founding supporters of the MapYourVoice's full-scale development.  

All donations are tax-deductible.  

—Jeni Ambrose is the executive director of Global Change Project and a creator of MapYourVoice.

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