Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $749,753)
In the U.S. today, rates of violent crime victimization are high, but access to victim resources and services is limited. Technology resources can help meet the needs for access to mental/behavioral health support, awareness of victims’ rights, and linkages to victim service providers. This application proposes the development, dissemination, and evaluation of a comprehensive, educational self-help tool, available in English and Spanish, to help reduce and prevent long-term difficulties experienced by many victims of violent crime. Leveraging existing resources, this project, led by the National Crime Victims Research & Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, will develop a self-help mobile device app – Transcend for Victims and Survivors (Transcend VS) – designed to meet the victim service and mental/behavioral health needs of victims of violent crimes (e.g., sexual assault, intimate partner violence, homicide, robbery, crimes that result in physical injuries, and human trafficking). The app will be free to download for both major mobile technology platforms, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.
Transcend VS will re-engineer a successful Transcend NMVC mobile app recently launched by the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center. Because of its focus on mass violence, the existing app is not fully applicable to victims of other violent crimes. This project will capitalize on the framework and extensive development that has been invested in Transcend NMVC in order to develop a separate and new app (Transcend VS) that will provide access to information about other types of violent crime and their unique impacts on victims, resources explaining victim services and rights, evidence-based self-help strategies, psychoeducation about effective therapeutic interventions, and linkages to location-based victim assistance and mental/behavioral health services while respecting victim autonomy and privacy.
The technical team that successfully developed Transcend NMVC will lead this project in partnership with experts in both victim services and behavioral health approaches for victims of violent crime. The project will be guided by a diverse Stakeholder Advisory Roundtable of 15 victims and survivors of violent crime and victim service professionals. A robust plan for content development, technical development (including confidentiality protections), deployment, and evaluation is proposed, that will create a high value technological resource for victims of violent crime. As noted, the app will be translated to Spanish to offer Spanish-speaking Hispanic/Latino people and others who prefer Spanish the ability to access resources. Therefore, this project is requesting Priority Area A consideration.