BY HALEY DICK
Gull Life Editor
According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds.
Sexual assault is a widespread issue that cannot be narrowed to just one month of focus. However, April is nationally known as Sexual Assault Awareness month, which was designed for victims of sexual assault to know that they are not alone, and that the hardships they have endured are being addressed.
RAINN states that “ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.” Look around the room. College students generally fall in this age range, and many students struggle to take the initiative to get the help and support they need.
Capptivation, a small company consisting of four partners, has designed an application that allows sexual assault victims on high school and college campuses, as well as their loved ones, get the help and support they need at their fingertips. The brains behind the operation are Jack Zandi, Billy Sadik-Khan, Racquel Giner and Zach Csillag.
The application, known as Reach Out Editions, compiles information that was found buried under various PDFs and student handbooks on how to seek help following an assault, and brings it to the hands of the user. The administrators of the campuses are provided information from the team on how to update the information on their personal displays to best benefit the student users.
Jack Zandi, contributor to the data maintenance of Reach Out Editions and cofounder of Capptivation, and his colleagues are high school friends who regrouped after college and brought their own beliefs and educations to the table to collaborate to create an app to aid victims of sexual assault in any way possible.
“We felt like creating an app would be unique and a lot of fun to do from an entrepreneurial standpoint,” Zandi said. “If we could help a neglected part of the population then we felt it was a win-win on a massive scale for us.”
Their inspiration for creating the app stemmed from being overall civically minded, but ultimately sparked when media attention started to focus on sexual assault more frequently and in depth. After doing some research on how to seek help and develop a plan of action, the creators noticed how difficult it was to locate support services, giving them the idea to make a change.
“We want to help people that want to help themselves and their friends, and if we can give them an avenue that is not only easy, but is useful, then we feel like we are creating not just a service, but a function for people of all backgrounds to find vital information in their most trying time,” Zandi shared.
The app itself is catered specifically to whichever college or university a student attends, so student victims simply must type the name of the university into the organization slot and personalized information will be generated. Some of the categories include campus resources, which indicates to students exactly where to go to seek immediate help, reporting options in which students can learn the different ways to handle the assault, and various advocacy and educational links that can take the matter of sexual assault farther than one incident.
The application serves roughly 2600 two and four year colleges, as well as various high schools who felt it necessary to have the resource available to their students. It is free to download, and all activity within the app remains completely anonymous.