New app aims to save sexual assault evidence for victims

The new app, called I've-Been-Violated, will record evidence from assaults to aid victims in testimonies and proof of assault. (Flickr/Paul Jacobson)

The recently created I've-Been-Violated app will be the first of its kind to allow users to record their assault using video and audio as well as geo-coding technology in order to save evidence so that the victim can report their assault confidentially.

The main purpose of the app is to talk about any type of assault without having to go directly to authorities after it occurred, Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence (ISCE) executive director Michael Lissack said.

“When you have someone who reports their assault after a certain amount of time, their credibility may be questioned,” Lissack said. “This app will allow victims the chance to record their traumatic experience if they are not ready to get the authorities involved.”

Madison Lightner, a fourth-semester psychology major, expressed relief that people are recognizing this issue.

“I think the app is necessary since sexual assault happens all the time on college campuses,” Lightner said. “It’s even more common to see people being questioned about being assaulted and if it was actually without consent.”

The app lets you document what happened during the assault so the victim does not have to re-live the trauma right away, according to Lissack.

“We need to start evoking conversations about consent before an assault occurs rather than after,” Lissack said. “We need to start creating awareness on consent and know what it is.”

I've-Been-Violated is one of four apps on we-consent.org which offers advice and prevention of all types of sexual assault.

“There is a yes app called ‘We-Consent,’ where both people give consent, another app called ‘What-About-No,” where you can figure out how to get out of a bad situation with an unwanted person,” Lissack said. “We’re also developing a party pass app which opens discussion about assumptions of sex at college parties.”

The Affirmative Consent Project is a non-profit organization that works towards combating sexual assault and promoting that only yes means yes.

“Our main goal for the project is to create a 'culture of consent' that encourages safe hookups, responsible encounters and, if anything should go wrong – a safe way to report an incident that will protect everyone involved,” Affirmative Consent Project co-founder Alison Morano said.

According to Lissack, 85 percent of sexual assault victims do not report their sexual assault to authorities and when they eventually do, their credibility is usually questioned.

“I think that that's a sign that society needs to be adjusted,” Elizabeth Rice, a fourth-semester sophomore political science major said.  “Victims shouldn't be the ones persecuted and treated like they're the assailant.”

The I've-Been-Violated app is currently available on we-consent.org.


Ann Riley is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at ann.riley@uconn.edu.