On Tuesday, the Office of the Vice President and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy launched the “Apps Against Abuse” technology challenge – a national competition to develop an innovative software application that provides young adults with tools to help prevent sexual assault and dating violence.
Below is a detailed description of the challenge:
Vice President Biden and Secretary Sebelius are honored to announce a challenge that encourages the development of applications that provide college students and young adults with the tools to help prevent dating violence and sexual assault. The application envisioned will offer individuals a way to connect with trusted friends in real-time to prevent abuse or violence from occurring. While the application will serve a social function of helping people stay in touch with their friends, it will also allow friends to keep track of each other’s whereabouts and check in frequently to avoid being isolated in vulnerable circumstances.
The primary users of the application may include (but are not limited to) college/university students, residential advisors, sorority or fraternity members, and young men and women who would like to be role models and promote prevention in our communities.  Everyone has a role to play in the prevention of violence and abuse, and while no one can do everything, everyone can do something. This application is envisioned to empower young people, in real time, to look out for their friends in order to prevent violence or assault before it occurs. The application should also be designed to provide potential bystanders with real-time support from friends and access to resources that will encourage them to intervene before abusive behavior happens and educate them about how to do so safely and effectively. This application is a step in enabling young women and men to take an active role in the prevention of dating violence and sexual assault.
How to enter:
Interested persons should read these Official Rules and register at the Challenge.gov portal: ?challenge.gov?. Registration is free and can be completed anytime during the Application Submission Period, July 13, 2011, to October 17, 2011.  Submissions should include a title, text description of the submission, a link to the application/prototype, and a list of data sources and/or datasets used.  Pictures and video are optional but helpful.
Webinars will be held in August and September 2011 with domestic violence/sexual abuse prevention experts, White House representatives, and HHS staff members to highlight the significance of this topic, provide additional information and answer questions from potential applicants about the developer’s challenge, and offer opportunities for potential applicants to talk with others about forming collaborative teams.
The winner of this challenge will be publicly recognized and celebrated by HHS, and all finalist applications will be featured on an HHS website. Representatives from HHS, (e.g., Todd Park), OSTP (e.g., Aneesh Chopra) and OVP will be present for the announcement of the Challenge Winner (Date TBD) to celebrate innovations toward ending domestic violence and sexual assault, including the winning applications and teams from this challenge.