Danielle Kokochak, an Online Campus Master of Arts in Psychology student, is designing a resource to address the rising risk of domestic abuse during the pandemic. Her team’s prototype solution won the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) COVID-19 Challenge—and now they are bringing it to life.
Studies have found that catastrophic events, financial strain, and increased time with family, can all lead to a rise in domestic abuse cases. Though staying home helps keep people safe from the virus, it can cause “tensions to run high and things might happen that were just bubbling under the surface before,” Kokochak said.
Her team’s website will help users understand whether they are experiencing domestic violence, domestic abuse, or another type of unhealthy relationship. The site will provide survivors with a safe place to disclose and understand their experience, begin making a safety plan, and reduce barriers to connecting with a service provider who can support them.
“Though I am in quarantine, I have appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with people across the country and create something together that addresses a really pertinent social issue,” Kokochak said.
Meet Denise Dailey, a Chicago Campus student who is helping veterans in transitional housing on Chicago’s West Side stay connected through telehealth services.