Free mobile app to help in case of physical, sexual assault

North Dakota has become littered with physical and sexual assaults in recent years, increasing since the height of the Bakken oil boom attracted hordes to the western part of the state. But a new mobile phone app hopes to help curb the staggering statistics.

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By BRYCE MARTIN | ND Group Editor | bmartin@countrymedia.net

North Dakota has become littered with physical and sexual assaults in recent years, increasing since the height of the Bakken oil boom attracted hordes to the western part of the state. But a new mobile phone app hopes to help curb the staggering statistics.

CAWS North Dakota, a nonprofit membership organization representing the 20 domestic violence and sexual assault crisis centers throughout the state, officially launched ASK ND, a personal security and bystander intervention app available free on iPhone and Android platforms, on Oct. 21.

The app, produced in cooperation with Washington, D.C.-based sexual assault and advocacy group Men Can Stop Rape, is confidential and serves as an opportunity to promote bystander intervention and coordinated responses to sexual violence.

ASK ND features user-friendly functionality and critical crisis and reporting resources.

“This app will open doors for many victims and survivors that haven’t reached out to one of our crisis centers. This app has the potential to provide timely, accurate information to victims whenever they need it,” said Janelle Moos, CAWS North Dakota’s executive director.

According to CAWS, recent research showed that one in four women, between the ages of 18 and 35, are victims of sexual violence.

ASK’s expansion comes with growing awareness about the need to combat all forms of gender based violence that’s been generated by a recent slew of media coverage depicting incidences of sexual violence in communities across the country.

“The October launch of these new resources is particularly important, because Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an intentional time for our country to reflect on the role we can all play in supporting loved ones around gender-based violence and bystander intervention,” said Rachel Friedman, deputy director of Men Can Stop Rape.

Men Can Stop Rape is the leading national organization mobilizing boys and men to prevent violence against women utilizing a proven curriculum, awareness campaigns, prevention and intervention trainings and programming.

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