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One of the biggest barriers to getting help for domestic violence and sexual assault is knowing where to go and who to reach out to directories like the one on DomesticShelters.org, comprised of 2,877 organizations around the U.S. and Canada, have been instrumental in helping survivors in much of North America. But what about survivors in Moldova? Ethiopia? Belarus?
This past March, the NO MORE Foundation, a nonprofit with 40 chapters around the world, launched the NO MORE Global Directory to help connect survivors in more than 200 countries to crisis resources in their area. We spoke with Laura Peek, NO MORE’s Communications Manager, about how survivors across the globe are now being reached.
DomesticShelters.org: The NO MORE Foundation was launched in 2013, and many people by now likely recognize the symbol you created—a teal circle that makes up the “O” in “NO.” But for those not familiar, what does your nonprofit do?
Peek: The NO MORE Foundation is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action, and fueling culture change. We work to amplify and grow the movement to stop and prevent violence in homes, schools, workplaces and communities around the world by creating and supporting innovative campaigns, partnerships and tools that leverage the power of the media, entertainment, sports, technology and collective action. With more than 1,400 allied organizations and over 40 state, local, and international chapters, we encourage everyone to be part of the solution.
DS: What was the impetus behind the Global Database?
Peek: Basically, it was knowing that one didn’t exist. There are fabulous resources like DomesticShelters.org, but we didn’t know of a truly global resource for people seeking direct service help in any area of the world. We collaborated with UN Women and World Bank Group and did a lot of research to vet these organizations and make sure they were functioning. And now, we have created a list of 205 countries and territories—every UN-recognized country in the world—that we audit and update every three months.
DS: Did you encounter challenges creating the database, like language barriers, cultural differences, government instability or interference?
Peek: Our main problem has been ensuring that the database is accessible to any survivor, in any location throughout the world. Also making sure that this resource is showing up for people who are searching for global resources — SEO [search engine optimization] has been a bit of a challenge for us, but this is something we are working closely with DomesticShelters.org on. We want to make sure if someone is googling a global resource, that we are one of the first sites that they see. We have not yet seen any government interference or backlash from governments, but those sensitivities do exist and it’s something we will continue to watch closely.
DS: We’re so excited to partner with you to help grow this directory—why did you want to bring on DomesticShelters.org to help?
Peek: The biggest impetus is DomesticShelters.org’s expertise. You have run such a successful, robust website that has been a critical resource for many survivors. Seeing the way that your information is updated, seeing the amount of traffic that you get to your site. You have really cemented yourself as an essential resource in the U.S. And Rita [Smith, Vice President of External Relations for DomesticShelters.org] has known and worked with us for a long time, so it was just common sense: let’s team up and work together on this. It’s two organizations that really care about survivors teaming up and using their expertise to make each other better.
DS: Your Directory utilizes flags to help people from all around the world find their home country and easily get help. Is your website also translatable?
Peek: Yes, we have over 100 languages available now. Visitors can simply click the dropdown in the top left corner of the site and select their language. We want any person, regardless of what language they speak, to look at this page, see their flag, click on it, and see the resources available to them.
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