The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2014, April 12-13

Sexual Violence Center

Paired with Web2.0hhhMyyy

Since 1985, the Sexual Violence Center has been serving youth and adult victim/survivors of sexual violence 12 years of age and older. We work in Hennepin, Carver, Scott and other metro counties and have offices in Minneapolis and Chaska.

More and more Minnesotans every year turn to us during one of the worst times in their lives. We meet them with a range of services to get them through the crisis and trauma caused by sexual violence, including:

24-hour crisis support telephone line staffed by our trained advocates,

Individual, in-person counseling giving intensive, directed support to victims and survivors,

Support groups for victims and survivors as well as friends and family of victims,

Crisis support in hospitals: we are there for victims of sexual assault throughout their evidentiary examinations,

Legal advocacies and legal clinics through which we advocate that victim/survivors have the resources they need to file restraining orders, navigate the criminal justice system and get connected to legal representation.

SVC provides services to victim/survivors at no cost.

In addition to our direct services support work, SVC challenges the systems, attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate violence. We encourage and support those who want to join us to make change. SVC engages the community to address sexual violence by empowering people to become sexual assault advocates and by providing the training, organization and supervision to do this work. We also go into schools, other agencies and general community populations to continue breaking the silence about sexual violence. We coordinate two multi-disciplinary teams that focus on ensuring that systems that respond to sexual violence (i.e. judicial, law enforcement, medical, etc.) prioritize the needs and perspectives of victims.

What new functionality we are looking for

We have desperate need to update our old website. The website as it currently appears it the result of several volunteers' input, but at the present time we have no webmaster to update and unify the site.

This website is a main way we connect with three vital groups of people:

1) victim/survivors of sexual violence who Google us and need to know more about our services

2) donors and potential donors

3) potential volunteers (also, who Google us)

We need to refine it as a communication tool targeting each of these groups of people.

How the new functionality will help

Hopefully through a new website we will reach more people with our services, and communicate better with potential donors (which will help our agency provide this increased volume of service).

Our major problem is lack of awareness amongst the general community to our existence: people only know about us when they need us. A more updated site, with a more strategic use of key words will help boost our Google ranking and direct more people in crisis to our site.

We need to update our content, that need has been there for a few months. But rather than just updating our content using the same framework we have right now, we'd rather do a complete overhaul to make our website a more effective tool for victim/survivors to use when they are reaching out for help (especially for the first time).

We would also like to make our website more relational - with active links to partner organizations (domestic violence shelters, suicide crisis lines, etc.) we routine work with and refer to, and also donor agencies that help keep us running. We would also like to incorporate more research and rape-related news on our site (in some way where we can control for content). We would also like to link to our SVC Facebook account and SVC Twitter feed, in a live way.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

11 Messages from Supporters

2014-03-10 16:09:26 UTC

One of the best things I have ever heard about SVC I heard last week. I quote " Your organization has changed my life. I could not have made it through with out you guys." This is why we all do what we do, to continue to support people in need of our services. One life or one person at a time!

2014-03-10 16:27:27 UTC

I have witnessed first-hand SVC's ongoing commitment to providing comprehensive services to victim/survivors and those who love them. Their philosophy is that we are all victims of sexual violence and also all able to take a stand against it. This is such an empowering message. SVC is focused on inclusiveness, not discriminating based on gender, race, or class, and they often advocate for those who have been turned away from everywhere else. I know I have learned a lot and also grown a lot from my time with them.

2014-03-10 16:31:44 UTC

SVC offers free services to people in crisis. Sexual violence affects many people, keep up the great work you do SVC.

2014-03-10 17:01:41 UTC

SVC does amazing work in the field of sexual violence - and their services are free! Granting an overhaul of their website would continue to make SVC more accessible to everyone seeking services to get help, or for the potential future volunteer/donor looking to make a difference.

2014-03-10 17:40:01 UTC

SVC is a strong leader in the anti-oppression movement. I hope that more people and communities will benefit from SVC's exceptional client-centered services.

2014-03-10 22:23:37 UTC

I have been affiliated with SVC for more than 15 years. I am so proud of the services SVC offers our community.

2014-03-11 03:06:29 UTC
Sarah B

SVC's motto is "Start talking. Change will follow." And that's what SVC does: provides a safe place for a victim/survivor of sexual violence to tell their story, discover resources, and (most importantly) learn that they are not alone. SVC staff, interns, and volunteers are on the clock 24/7: providing crisis line services / serving as support at hospitals for victims who were recently assaulted / advocating for victim/survivors who chose to report & being by their side @ the police station or courthouse / meeting with clients one-on-one to honor, normalize and support clients' experiences / running a multitude of support groups at SVC and throughout the community (juvenile detention centers, prisons, etc).

ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS, SVC also provides training about sexual violence year-round to various groups in the community AND does an intensive (and mind-blowingly amazing) 40-hour training three times a year for the plethora of incredible volunteers and interns who want to be a part of all the good work being done at this organization.

That's a lot of information, right? And it's all really great information for anyone using the Internet to know about (because, as we know too well, sexual violence affects us all). How can SVC get all of this information onto one site that can serve all the different populations who deserve a place for their voice to be heard and/or want learn more about sexual violence prevention? With the help of this challenge.

Plus, the staff at SVC are super fun and creative and would be a blast to be with on a team working on this challenge. The web team that works with SVC would have the best time, hands-down.

2014-03-11 15:00:53 UTC

Please help this amazing agency strengthen its voice online!

2014-03-18 16:05:19 UTC

The work that SVC is doing in the community is greatly needed and incredibly important. Being a small non-profit that does big work is not always easy and there are barriers SVC faces which other larger entities may take for granted. One of these barriers is a user friendly and well-designed website. Many people learn about services these days online and even if they hear about SVC through a friend or some other referral source, one of the first things a lot of people do is check out the website (myself included). In order to make sure our website accurately reflects the amazing work SVC is doing, they need assistance. This help could connect more victims/survivors in need of services to SVC and get folks information faster.

Additionally, volunteers are the heart and soul of SVC and in order to provide interested new applicants with the same accurate information and get them information faster, again the need is for assistance with the website.

I hope that SVC is recognized as a place where if you invest in this organization you are simultaneously investing in the community. This assistance would go a long ways and reach countless individuals for years to come.

2014-03-20 03:30:24 UTC
Ben Walter

SVC as an organization supports a cause that is a universal problem and inadequately addressed. They are composed of a few staff members and many volunteers that pour their hearts into the cause with the desire to change the world and eliminate rape/sexual violence.

Their website could play a critical role in helping educate the community about sexual violence, as well help ensure individuals who need their services can find them.

It's quite challenging to think of a more deserving organization for your assistance than SVC. Anyone who has experienced sexual violence, or knows someone who has, understands the magnitude of negative impact it has on the survivor/victim's life. I can promise you that your assistance to SVC would be sincerely appreciated and would support a good organization.

2014-03-20 04:40:01 UTC

The SVC provides critical services for women in need. With funding cuts from all sides, it is important that we, as a community, support this cause any way we can. We must all take responsibility for curbing sexual violence. We must all celebrate the life of each survivor helped by these services.

Our Mission

It is our mission to eradicate sexual violence and abuse by: - Challenging the systems and individuals the promote privilege, oppression and domination, - Educating those that will join us advocates and catalysts for change, and - Supporting those who have been victimized; empowering them to not only survive but thrive, finding power and movement in our collective voices.