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Featured Projects

Pivot: A Tool to Empower Trafficked Victims

IxDA AWARDS 2014 – Best In Category
IDSA 2013 IDEA – Gold Award
Design Ignites Change Idea Award 2013 – Grand Prize

Pivot provides rescue information to female human trafficking victims without detection by their captors. Ordinary-looking sanitary pads are distributed by activists and healthcare providers to suspected victims. Hidden inside each pad is an insert printed on water-soluble paper with rescue information and an anti- trafficking hotline number. Victims access the insert in the privacy of a restroom, detach the phone number (disguised as a fortune-cookie tab), and flush the rest of the insert in the toilet, allowing the victims to safely carry the necessary information with them until they are mentally and physically ready to seek help.

This project was a collaboration with four other graduate students at the University of Washington. It was developed while researching human trafficking as part of The Public Practice Studio and by way of a close partnership with WARN (Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network). 2,000 initial pads were distributed in street-clinics across Seattle and 20,000 more have been produced for expanded distribution. It is our hope that we’ll be able to evaluate the effectiveness of this design in the near future.