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Innovative Solutions to Eliminate Domestic Abuse

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ISEDA (Innovative Solutions to Eliminate Domestic Abuse)

Reporting period: 2022-09-01 to 2024-02-29

ISEDA aims to combat and eliminate domestic violence (DV) by developing state-of-the-art technologies and practices. Our solutions are informed by expertise from social science and the humanities as well as close collaboration with practitioners and experts, thus ensuring an evidence-based, efficient design that is founded on an emphatic, ethical, and victim-centred approach.
• A training program for PAs which includes interactive in-person elements, a serious game module, and a train-the-trainers manual. Participants in the training package will develop skills to better assess situations, respond appropriately, assist victims, and ensure a just treatment to their cases.
• A chatbot that will assist victims to get help and inform about the different types of DV (how to prevent, detect, and investigate it). With the victims’ consent, an integrated data platform will help to gather court-proof evidence and record trends on the nature, frequency, and circumstances of DV.
• Campaigns, informational guides, posters, and videos, as well as education programs will focus on informing, sensitizing, and engaging the general public, as well as young students. The solutions focus on deconstructing toxic gender stereotypes and gender-based violence, and promote healthy relationships with a zero-tolerance for violence.
• The ISEDA project will also refine, promote, and implement perpetrator programs as a chance for positive change. These programs have the potential to significantly increase the quality of life of both victims and perpetrators.
We expect to increase the use of interactive tools by victims for reporting; improve prevention, detection and investigation of DV; and support policy making and legislative processes. Overall, the project will spread awarness and in-depth knowledge of DV and improve forensics and lawful evidence collection, as well as enhance prevention, detection, and deterrence of societal issues related to violent crimes.
In order to prepare evidence-based recommendations for the development phase, the project started by researching the 3 pilot sites and the follower territories Bulgaria, Catalonia, Greece and Cyprus, Finland, Italy. This process was intensified by several focus groups that gathered data from victim-survivors, CSOs, and PAs. In another preliminary step, contact to an European Community of Practice was established, so that we are now in ongoing contact with 13 experts from outside of the consortium, who’s expertise further informs the development process.

Afterwards, we developed a roadmap for all planed solutions. Next to an outline for the technical solutions, the in-person training, the IMPACT toolkit, and the awareness and education campaigns, the development of scientific evaluation methods for our own solutions was central to this phase of the project.

Eventually, we developed 5 victim scenarios for the interview simulator and set the learning outcomes for the training package. This was undertaken in close consideration of feedback from the partners working with victims and the PAs who will eventually be the end-users of the training. Currently, a 3-D animated prototype for the first interview scenario has been presented to the consortium and the translation into the three target languages is in preparation.

Since the features of the chatbot and the data platform are highly dependent on the judicial situation in each of the pilot sites, they are developed on the basis of information from our partners. Currently, two development sprints have been completed and the second feedback round is about to start. During the next sprints, the chatbot will be translated and tested in the local languages.

The IMPACT toolkit was already co-developed by WWP within the European Daphne-III “IMPACT” project. It has been refined and translated and a training for professionals working with perpetrators has been held. Currently, the toolkit is being implemented in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Italy.

For the awareness raising campaign, a communication framework and toolkit were developed. On this basis, the partners will develop region-specific campaigns with the slogan: “A way out of violence”. The education program will entail four modules (1. gender-based violence; 2. intimate partner violence; 3. general prevention against violence; 4. cyberbullying), which are complemented by region specific topics for pupils in primary and secondary schools.

Since we are working with highly sensitive data and are in direct contact with victim-survivors of DV, several areas of ethical concerns have been identified. We developed guidelines for working with people in situations of DV, as well as measures to assure the protection of personal data, and to minimize the risks of working with AI. To ensure constant consideration of ethical implications, an External Ethics Advisory Board was formed.
All of the solutions designed by ISEDA are based on salient research conducted specifically for the project. Through directly working with victim-survivors, CSOs, and PAs in the target countries, we ensure an evidence-based and victim-centred approach.

The envisioned training program employs a hybrid approach and builds on pre-existing results from IMPRODOVA, PROSTASIS, and the ARIADNE2 training modules. Compared to past methodologies, the ISEDA victim interview simulator is a completely new approach to train Pas in contact with victims. The methodology to design a believable, fragile person is also new and (as far as we know) has no equivalent.

The content of the chatbot and the data platform are specifically tailored to the needs of those already fighting against DV in the pilot and follower territories. Its AI technology will allow for a first level of risk assessment and direct/advice victims on recommended course of actions.

For the IMPACT toolkit a thorough scientific procedure has been implemented. Cognitive interview procedure (Hester, Walker, Fahmy & Myhill, 2024; Meman & Gawrylowicz, 2018) has been followed to achieve a sound scientific adaptation of the toolkit.

By working with victim-survivors, CSOs, and PAs, ISEDA proposes a comprehensive, European approach to combating and eliminating DV, intended to make awareness raising and education more efficient in the short and long term.

Due to the use of the chatbot, the data platform, and realistic 3-D modelling, we are dealing with rapidly developing technologies and thus also new ethical questions that arise in working with AI, and other emerging technologies.