Master of Arts (MA)
The Women Against Violence Experiment (W.A.V.E.) is the product of a yearlong investigation about information gaps in New York’s Latina immigrant community. I interviewed two Brazilian-American immigration attorneys serving the Brazilian community and several Brazilian women living in New York, including victims and survivors of domestic violence, and found that immigrant women have little or no knowledge about the different forms of abuse to which they are vulnerable. No matter who perpetrates the abuse -- a partner, a boss, a landlord -- women don’t know about the resources available to protect their rights, such as free services and U.S. legislation.
This social journalism practicum developed unconventional services to inform Brazilian immigrant women who are victims or at risk of domestic violence. I assessed the community’s information gaps, media consumption habits and reliance on social media for exchanging of information and communication. I then looked for inspiration in technology and in one of the oldest art forms: theater.
This report describes the process of developing W.A.V.E.’s first two services: a chatbot prototype called Chicabot and the forum play “What If It Happened to You?” It also covers the impact of both solutions as well as lessons learned.
Varejao, Isadora, "The Women Against Violence Experiment (W.A.V.E.): social journalism solutions to help immigrant women protect themselves against abuse" (2019). CUNY Academic Works.