App as a safe space for complainants
Victims of sexual assault go through an invasive, degrading, and exhausting process when they complain to Police. It evokes in these victims a feeling of shame, self-criticism, and the fear they will not be believed. It’s also the reason why so few victims come forward to complain. Despite the online Police Complaint Report initiated during the Corona period, the rate of complaints remains low. It did not bring a silver lining to this issue and there’s still no change.
In light of the above, I designed an App that aims to provide a safe space and a supportive environment for the complainant. Sexual assault victims now have an alternative to the Police Complaint Report and the grueling investigation that follows.
This App is available to every woman and man in Israel who has been sexually assaulted. My challenge was to turn a “cold” alienated platform into a warm, personal space, where a victim feels safe enough to lodge a complaint.
The sensitive nature made me want to provide victims with a simple, clear structure and navigation. There are no multiple action options or buttons to distract complainants, and the App allows them to testify at their own pace. With limited options to choose from, the simple process feels accessible and convenient.
Due to the delicate emotional state of the victim, a sensitive design language is used. It conveys a personal tone, shows empathy, and creates trust. According the design rules, titles are written in my own handwriting. Graphic images (the App’s main menu or within the voice recording) employ a hand drawn pencil line technique. The same is true for the icons themselves. This “design language” gives the user the sense of a personal, private, and warm space - like writing in a personal notebook or diary.
The user has three main menu options to choose from while providing testimony:
"I hear you" - record freely.
"Write to me" - write free text and put thoughts in writing.
"Where to start?" - guided questions the user may optionally choose to answer in non-chronological order.
At the end of each option the App informs the user about the possibility to
self-identify, to help other victims of sexual abuse. The short identification process includes uploading a Personal ID card and forwarding the complaint to Police. The user has two choices: self-identifying, or giving up and keeping the testimony for personal future reference. The initial sharing of experiences within the App is itself an important step in the healing process.