Internet Sexuality Information Services | ZonaSegura: A Trauma-Informed Youth-Centered Innovative Solution to Teen Dating Violence Prevention
Teen dating violence (TDV) is widely recognized as a form of gender-based violence throughout the world. UNICEF’s 2014 report, "A Statistical Snapshot of Violence Against Adolescent Girls" defines TDV as "...a pattern of controlling or violent behaviors by a current or former dating partner...that can, however, escalate into very serious forms of physical, emotional or sexual abuse." TDV is a significant issue in Honduras. According to the Guttmacher Institute, among 15-19-year-olds who have never been married, 28% report having experienced some type of abuse (psychological, physical or sexual) at the hands of their partner in the past year. While many laws that aim to protect women may exist, many women are unaware of their existence. Women also fear retaliation, isolation, and stigma if they report violence. Honduran youth are also voracious consumers of technology; the most recent data available demonstrates that technology use among Honduran teens in particular is widespread; it is estimated that nearly 90 percent of the population has access to at least one mobile phone.
Using technology as a platform for primary prevention of TDV, this project will educate and empower users about their rights, teach healthy relationship, gender equality, conflict resolution and will ultimately prevent TDV, all while ensuring privacy and confidentiality. YTH (youth + tech + health), with in-country partners at GOJoven Honduras and technical partners at GOJoven International/PHI, will work with youth to design ZonaSegura to increase young women and girls' (YWG) knowledge of their rights in Honduras relating to TDV, build self-efficacy for TDV prevention, and provide peer support. Our parallel SMS campaign will reach young men and boys (YMB) with targeted messages on health relationships, gender equality and address masculinity stereotypes. ZonaSegura will be a private and confidential digital platform linking youth to services and gamified educational content, allowing them the ability to contact trusted friends and family when they need support. Rooted in social-ecological model, Health Belief Model, and Social Cognitive Theories, ZonaSegura will be designed using youth-centered design, a methodology empowering young people to take active steps in addressing the biggest challenges in their lives.