Chayn’s online resource for sexual assault survivors called You Are Not Alone impressed judges for its use of digital to minimise the risk of social isolation.
An online support service for survivors of sexual assault has won a government-backed prize for digital projects aimed at tackling loneliness.
You Are Not Alone has been named winner of Tech to Connect, a digital prize funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS) and run by Nesta Challenges to recognise tech-based schemes to reduce social isolation.
The resource has been created by community interest company Chayn with the aim of becoming the world’s largest collaborative resource for survivors of sexual assault.
The UK online resource is also operational in India, Pakistan and Italy.
The service includes signposting details of local shelters, sexual violence units, lawyers and therapists and to help survivors suffering from isolation to stay connected.
The submissions for the award were made before the coronavirus outbreak.
But a statement from the DDCMS and Nesta said: “Innovative tech solutions that bring people together virtually and provide online support will be even more important as people across Britain limit their face-to-face contact to reduce the spread of the virus.”
According to latest figures one in five women in the UK will experience sexual assault in their lifetime, rising to one in three globally.
In addition, 664,000 men in England and Wales have been victims of sexual assault since they were 16.
“Chayn really understands how to help survivors of sexual assault take control of their situation while minimising their risk of social isolation,” said Tris Dyson, Executive Director of Nesta Challenges.
“By providing tailored assistance through You Are Not Alone (YANA) to organisations that are closest to the problems they are trying to tackle, we can help to scale up and deliver technology that really reflects the needs of its users.”
The YANA team accepted their award via Twitter and explain what the accolade means to them.
Chayn Founder Hera Hussain, added: “By using tech to empower survivors of sexual assault, we can help those affected to feel more connected to a supportive community, take informed action, and feel less isolated.
“Our online survivor-led resources have already enabled us to reach more than 300,000 individuals since 2013.
“The expert support, tech training and financial backing from DCMS and Nesta Challenges has provided will help us to reach even more vulnerable people.”
The Tech to Connect challenge attracted 130 not for profit sector applications. Ten finalists have been given access to expert support and technical expertise and funding to accelerate their ideas over the last five months.
A total of £500,000 was allocated for business and programme support and £500,000 for cash prizes to the winners and grant funding.
As winner YANA was awarded £100,000 to scale up the programme.