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Hello Cass – an SMS Chatbot Making it Easier to Talk About Family and Sexual Violence

By

  • Hello Cass Co. Ltd
  • Good Hood Pty Ltd
  • Studio Akin

Description

Hello Cass is an SMS chatbot providing information and support pathways for those affected by family and sexual violence – and it’s a simple as texting a friend.

Anonymous, discreet and accessible, Hello Cass combines artificial intelligence with the reach possible via SMS to ensure users, regardless of where they are, are able to receive the information and support.

Hello Cass provides victims/survivors, their support network, and people worried about their own behaviour with low-risk way of receiving information for local counselling services, safety planning, legal processes, household assistance, wellbeing tips and more – through a simple text message.

Key Features

1

Trauma-informed Design

Hello Cass has been created with subject matter experts from the prevention of violence against women and community health sectors to ensure the information is safe, accurate, and sensitive to users’ experiences and trauma.

Hello Cass has also embedded the MARAM (Victorian Multi-agency Risk Assessment Management) within the user journey, providing clear escalation pathways for users deemed to require immediate support.

Accessible by Design
Developed to enable users in remote and regional communities to access the service without WIFI or 3G/4G networks, Hello Cass is also accessible via standard device screen readers and accessibility aids.

2

Augment help-seeking behaviour

Hello Cass assists users in overcoming barriers to disclosure including fear, shame, stigma, language, and feeling as though one won’t be believed, which currently mean that only around a third of incidents of violence are disclosed or reported.

Empowering Early Intervention
By providing support in a low-risk, anonymous way, users can be more accurate in requesting the information they need, and more confident in acting sooner and preventing potential escalation of violence.

Drive health literacy
Hello Cass provides a way for users to ask personal and difficult questions, and be free from the perception of human judgement.

3

Hello Cass provides an opportunity to assist in relieving the burden of front-line workers by providing an alternative information access point, and allowing users to triage themselves to the appropriate escalation point.

Anonymous and summary data of user enquiries is aggregated to provide rich insights into the experience and drivers of family and sexual violence. These insights are made available for sector and policy stakeholders, allowing for greater understanding of the violence, and the development and iteration of more effective policy and programming.

4

World-First Application
Hello Cass is a world-first SMS chatbot in addressing family and sexual violence, and collaborates in an international community of tech for the prevention of gender-based violence.

Elegant, accurate AI
With existing natural language processing technology not yet mature enough to satisfactorily manage trauma-sensitive content, Hello Cass is powered by simple, keyword AI, providing much higher success ratios and excellent user experience.

Friendly, Helpful and Professional
In the 2018 pilot, the most common traits reported by users were ‘friendly, helpful and professional,’ with 84% of users finding the information they were looking for throughout the first interaction.

5

Multi-tenancy architecture to allow other organisations to build their own bots, generating revenue and strengthening platform technical capabilities

API-first solution, with web interface, WhatsApp and WeChat clients for late 2019/2020 release

Scalable content architecture, providing for capabilities of a national 2020 rollout, plus additional languages

Hello Cass is a registered not-for-profit, funded by a B2G revenue model for data insights platform, forecasting financial sustainability within the next five years

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