Experimental text-based support and tech needs of shelters

Instagram filters, celebrations and rapid learning

Hello everyone!

We’re Nooreen and Rosie from the Executive Team. This month we have been planning our birthday event. This meant doing a lot of reflection about what we have achieved over the last 7 years and celebrating these in the team before we celebrate with our wider community. You’re invited to it too. Save the date: 4 June, 4.45-6.30pm BST!

Our team has been incredibly busy this month adapting and extending our work to offer more to survivors and our communities. We’re provided a quick summary for you below. 

Updates from Chayn

  • We’re so proud of our amazing team at the moment. Despite all the challenges we each face from Covid-19, our volunteers (and associates) are getting stuck in with the work and supporting each other. 

  • In the spirit of giving, we wanted to do something special for our partners and organisations we admire. Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan), Red Dot Foundation (India), Safelives (UK) and Rise (US) are supporting survivors of domestic and sexual abuse in lockdown. Donate to our fund or share it on facebook, twitter and instagram. In return, you get the warm feeling of doing something good plus exclusive social media filters for instagram and facebook to show your solidarity. We’re even running a competition for the best use of these. Shout out to Jessica (the brains), Rebecca (the creative), Sophie and Flora for working on this!

Show your solidarity with survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Support the organisations helping them get the mental, physical and financial resources they need! Money goes to @digitalrightsfoundation @pinthecreep @risenow.us @safelives_ #givingtuesdaynow
May 5, 2020
  • The UK national and local government association updated their guidance on where to access support and linked to our resources. We also got a mention in the UK’s parliamentary evidence on the rise of domestic abuse.

  • Our first iteration of the trauma group is almost halfway through. The team is learning a lot from the participants about what bits of the course are working and what we can do better next time. We know there’s also some staff from other frontline organisations who are watching and interested in learning for their own work. Participants have told us they can go through this at their own pace which is liberating and that they are beginning to recognise symptoms of PTSD and how to deal with them with our help. More on this next month. Shout out to Rebecca, Becky, Alyson and Hera!

  • Our Hera has been doing lots more media appearances: BBC news, TedxLondon, LBC (radio) and BadassWomensHour. We also got mentioned in the Global CitizenInnovators magazine, The Times, ITV and Amnesty International UK. We also helped with the background on this ABC/FiveThirtyEight article. 

  • On the back of this we hosted two Instagram Live “Tea hour” where members of the trauma group team chatted about the work and their lives. It went well and we’re looking forward to doing more. 

  • With the excitement of winning the NESTA funding for Yana behind us, we’ve been immersing ourselves in taking learning from the initial work and moving into the next phase of development. We’ve been doing research about user journeys, making decisions on what is the essential support that needs to go in the MVP and starting to map out content for the developer to build into the first version. 

  • Chayn Italia is working with women’s centers and shelters in Italy to understand their needs around tech and services. They identified priority areas for supporting women experiencing domestic abuse during COVID-19 and to be of help to women’s aid centers. This article (in Italian) summarises what they have been learning so far. Chayn Italia will be supporting the “Centri AntiViolenza” (women’s aid centers) in their tech challenges by developing guides and accessible content. The Italian team will also work on a new guide around the topic of the supportive neighborhood: how can communities come together at this moment and support women experiencing abuse? We’ll report on what they find in the next addition!

  • Chayn Italia has also hosted three Instagram Live sessions, focusing on topics such as non-consensual sharing of sexual images.

  • To tackle domestic abuse in the times of corona in Pakistan, Hera went live on Instagram with Mahvish Ahmed - talking about recognising abuse, coping mechanisms, finding support, and self-care. 

  • Members of Chayn have been participating in Sexual Assault Awareness month led by our  Tiffany Lo: we wore teal and denim in support of Teal day and Denim day!

  • Our Lakshmi created short videos from our Soul Medicine pathway on Assertive Communication for Instagram.

  • We participated in research from the new Covid-19 DV taskforce, led by students at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. They are trying to map available support in the UK and USA and use the data to advocate for additional research and support for survivors. 

  • We’ve been upskilling the team through workshops and trainings: 

    • The Little Window team have been learning how to use Storyblok to make our chatbot more user-friendly, thanks to our developer Sophie!

    • To enhance our offline and online event management skills, Dina, Hera & Rebecca attended a virtual Design Lab session by Fabriders facilitated by Dirk Slater.

    • Our volunteers Becky, Jessica and Rebecca attended workshops facilitated by Center for Anti-Violence on topics related to safety in the times of COVID19. 

  • Matty’s candles contacted us as they wanted to add business cards to all orders to let their customers know where they can get support if they are affected by domestic abuse. 

  • We participated in a campaign with WomenNeedToWalk to demand hotels rooms be made available for survivors.

  • FOR CHAYN VOLUNTEERS: And finally, we’ve got a “Read only” whatsapp group for people who have volunteered with us. Contact Nooreen, Rosie or Hera to get in! We’ll share news from the Chayn family as well as calls for help. We’re also throwing an internal birthday bash online on 20 May. Email team at chayn.co to get the details!


  • We’re doing lots of content creation at the moment which is fantastic, but sometimes it’s really hard after work/ dealing with the challenges of lockdown. We’re working hard in the Executive Team with project leads to try and balance tasks so we don’t burn out our fantastic volunteers. We’re also lucky that we’ve been given some funding so we’re prioritising using this to pay associates to help us deliver some of the more tricky pieces of work. 

  • From being a small player in the VAWG industry to now everyone wanting our advice! But it’s been hard to be able to give to everyone as much as we’d like. We’re doing lots of fundraising to try and get more support with our core work so we can be there for our peers and the wider sector. 

What we are reading and watching (and doing!)

Call for help

  • Research: We’re going to be commissioning some research into (i) mapping the services available in the violence against women sector in India and (ii) cybersecurity tips for IoT and spouseware/spyware. Know someone who would be a good fit? Let us know!

  • Comms: We are looking for social media manager volunteers. Spread the word. Apply to join the teamhere.