Administration Launches ‘Apps Against Abuse’ Challenge

The Obama administration today launched the “Apps Against Abuse” challenge that asks innovators to develop software applications that provide young adults with the tools to help prevent sexual assault and dating violence.

The contest is sponsored by Vice President Joe Biden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“Just as technology is changing the way young people communicate with each other every day, it’s also changing the way young people can protect themselves and their friends from becoming victims of sexual violence,” Biden said. “This challenge is a chance to empower a new generation to take a stand against violence.”

Through the “Apps Against Abuse” challenge, developers will be charged with creating an easy-to-use application that provides a targeted way for young women to designate trusted friends, allies, or emergency contacts and provide a means for checking-in with these individuals in real-time, particularly in at-risk situations. The winning application will also provide quick access to resources and information on sexual assault and teen dating violence, as well as where to go for help.


Quotes from the announcement:


“Everyone has a role to play in the prevention of violence and abuse. This application can be another way to encourage young women and men to take an active role in the prevention of dating violence and sexual assault.”

Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra:

“We want to tap into the creativity of the American people to empower women who wish to communicate distress in a trusted and immediate way.”


HHS CTO Todd Park:

“HHS is honored to launch this challenge with the Office of the Vice President and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop innovative tools to help young adults prevent and combat domestic violence and sexual assault. We are excited to see what innovators across the nation will do to harness the power of technology to help young adults prevent domestic violence and sexual abuse.”

Additional information and submission guidelines are available at The winner of the challenge will be announced in October 2011.

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