Sarahah Is Being Used To Help Child Victims Of Sexual Assault

5 September 2017, 10:53

Sarahah Charity Sexual Assault
James Wilson-Taylor

By James Wilson-Taylor

Aware's 'Save The Smiles' campaign has found an innovative use for the anonymous messaging service that is reaching a vital audience.

Some readers may find elements of this story upsetting.

A charity in India have found a clever way of using anonymous messaging app Sarahah to help sufferers of child sexual abuse.

The app has been the surprising hit of the summer but has been causing controversy with stories of cyberbullying, racist abuse and fake websites claiming to reveal the identities of users.

Sarahah, Aware

But, as Gadgets 360 reports, not every story has been so negative as Aware have signed up to the service as part of their Save The Smiles campaign, encouraging abuse victims to anonymously share their stories for practical advice and support.

The charity started savethesmiles.sarahah.com in August and, as Aware founder Sandhiyan Thilagavathy explains, it has helped the group expand the reach of their message across India:

"We started the Sarahah campaign on August 15. We promoted it on FB, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp, but published the answers published only on Facebook. Before Sarahah, one of ten people were talking to us."

Now, they have received 60 messages from children in just two weeks - a pretty huge increase in response.

The charity have been sending users extended replies via their Facebook page with details on support groups, workshops and therapy sessions they can attend.

 

In fact, the app has even led some volunteers to join the organisation itself.

"One girl was reaching out on behalf of a friend. She was undergoing sex trauma, and said she was sharing the story of a friend. After a few days she said she’d like to volunteer with us. Then she said it was herself who wanted to get rid of [emotional] baggage. She told us that she wishes to take this mission forward."

Sarahah has been downloaded a 1/4 of a billion times since its launch earlier this summer and has hit the number 1 position in the app store in over 30 countries.