Technology Ventures for preventing violence
The Michal Sela Forum is a nonprofit organization for preventing violence by the use of technology solutions and outside-the-box thinking along with an emphasis on broad public responsibility and awareness for identifying the red flags of domestic violence - Innovative technological ventures, in emergencies and in advance; Life-saving ventures, had they existed, Michal would have been alive today.
Michal Sela was brutally murdered in her home on October 3, 2019, only 32 years old. Her husband and the father of her daughter is accused of the murder.
In Israel, around 20 women are murdered each year as a result of domestic violence.
We are driven by Vision Zero, aiming at zero fatalities. How?
The Internet and smartphones generate huge amounts of information. At the same time, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies allow us to quickly and efficiently analyze the amounts of information needed to detect and predict phenomena and behaviors.
Israeli security agencies are making advanced use of these technologies that have been proven effective in preventing terrorist activity and saving lives. In the commercial world as well, state-of-the-art technologies are being used to analyze information and predict human behaviors.
How is it that we all know that when we find a new mole in our body - we should have it checked? How do we all know to call the police when we see a suspicious bag at a bus stop? But on the other hand, how is it that when we hear shouts coming from the house next door, we think twice?
The red flags of a violent relationship are well known to the professionals in the field. Michal Sela Forum works to translate them, one by one, to technology tools accessible to the general public. Access to professional information will save lives and increase personal, communal, and public awareness.
In addition, the organization supports the establishment of an ecosystem for the field - broad development of technological ventures by the public, private, and third sectors.
The organization supports research, data collection, and construction of a comprehensive and international knowledge base for the field.
Today, there are three main ways to deal with domestic violence: filing a police report, contacting the welfare services, or using women’s shelters. All of them, without exception, operate only after an extremely violent event. Moreover, all of these actions are inevitably the responsibility of the women who are living with violence.
The solutions offered and promoted by the Michal Sela Forum follow the following principles:
The burden of prevention, detection, and reporting should not lie solely on the woman's narrow shoulders, as is the case today. Prevention tools must be developed for the violent man, as well as for his and her environment/community, and for the system services.
We must produce tools that are effective prior to an extreme case of violence. Means of dealing with domestic violence through the prevention and prediction of violence as well as applications/gadgets that protect against violence in real-time events of violence or emergency.
Avoid increasing the burden on welfare and police while increasing the awareness and responsibility of the community.
Written by: Lily Ben Ami 21.3.2020