At the intersection of gender-based violence and tech, Hera Hussain’s open-source project, Chayn, is closing the critical information gap to help women find safety. Domestic abuse survivors often have tiny windows of opportunity when their partners are not around, during which to access support online.
A survivor once told Chayn, “It took me 15 clicks to find the information on a local refuge. If you only have 5 minutes alone, that’s at least 10 clicks too many.”
That’s where one of Chayn’s innovation, Little Window, comes in. The smart search-bot directs women to the information they need as fast as possible, “like a google search on turbo” drastically reducing the time it takes to get help, which can save lives.
More than 200 000 people have consulted Chayn across the world. The platform is a shining example of how collaborative design can power such an impact, since its launch in 2013. The multi-country, survivor-led site pools resources on domestic abuse and gender-based violence.
Crowd-sourced from survivors and expert-informed, guides include “Do It Yourself Online Safety” to help survivors circumvent online tracking from abusers, “How to Build Your Own Domestic Violence Case Without A Lawyer” and “Getting better and moving on” an intersectional mental wellbeing guide for anyone having gone through abuse. Since Chayn is run by 400 volunteers, its costs are low with its hybrid economic model relying mainly on grants and donations. Now Chayn is looking to revamp its business model with revenue-generating services such as Soul Medicine, a multi-lingual learning platform delivering micro-courses for women experiencing abuse, including migrants and refugees.