A CASE STUDY
EasyTRO is mobile app to help human trafficking and domestic violence survivors seek protection and justice after abuse and exploitation. It simplifies and explains the complex process of applying for the first phase of judicial relief - a temporary restraining order.
Image
Image
Through AnnieCannons, survivors designed and built EasyTRO to help other survivors. It’s one way AnnieCannons extends its impact by enabling small classes of talented survivors to create technologies that help many more. We call these powerful pieces of coding “impact technologies.”

Survivors conceive of impact technologies in the earliest days of their AnnieCannons’ program, usually in response to a question posed in class: “What’s a problem you’ve seen in your life or community that you’d like to solve?” Small, focused groups of survivors in our advanced classes then plan and refine the technical implementation of the impact technology they’ve proposed, with support from our staff.
CASE STUDY
Image
EasyTRO is mobile app to help human trafficking and domestic violence survivors seek protection and justice after abuse and exploitation. It simplifies and explains the complex process of applying for the first phase of judicial relief - a temporary restraining order.
Image
Through AnnieCannons, survivors designed and built EasyTRO to help other survivors. It’s one way AnnieCannons extends its impact by enabling small classes of talented survivors to create technologies that help many more. We call these powerful pieces of coding “impact technologies.”

Survivors conceive of impact technologies in the earliest days of their AnnieCannons’ program, usually in response to a question posed in class: “What’s a problem you’ve seen in your life or community that you’d like to solve?” Small, focused groups of survivors in our advanced classes then plan and refine the technical implementation of the impact technology they’ve proposed, with support from our staff.
“I wrote the law that created this [Temporary Restraining Order Form] in order to help survivors, but when a victim came to my office and I tried helping her fill it out, it was impossible to navigate.”

-Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley
“I wrote the law that created this [Temporary Restraining Order Form] in order to help survivors, but when a victim came to my office and I tried helping her fill it out, it was impossible to navigate.”
-Alameda County DA
Nancy O’Malley

* Problem

EasyTRO was born in conversation with multiple classes of survivors, many of whom had tried - with little success - to seek help from a court in restraining an abuser and/or trafficker from seeing them and their children. Indeed, the AnnieCannons team interviewed family lawyers, prosecutors, victim advocates, and survivors themselves, and none understood the full process of obtaining a TRO. Even the Alameda County District attorney who helped write the restraining order process law described filling out the required survivor’s request form a survivor needs to complete to seek judicial relief as “impossible.”

AnnieCannons’ students had kept multiple boxes of paper trying to preserve the records they thought they were supposed to keep. They had lost protection from abusers because the survivors missed court dates they didn’t know they had. They even had hacks to share with one another about how to serving papers on the abusers - which survivors are responsible for doing, but which they are not allowed to do personally.

And, after all this confusion and seemingly endless obstacles, the process rarely works. In some cases survivors explained that they are still required by the court to share custody of children with the abuser, who still emotionally and physically abuses those children.

* Solution

AnnieCannons partnered with an amazing team of design students at TradeCraft to synthesize the advice we’d received from various lawyers and victim advocates - as well as survivors themselves - into a simple mobile app.
Image

*What We Delivered

  • A mobile application that works on both iPhone and Android to serve survivors in Alameda County
  • An introductory guide that gives a straightforward overview of the most common pitfalls survivors face in seeking a restraining order
  • A simple, plain-language form that survivors can complete within the app to populate the dense TRO application into a clean, effective, completed PDF emailed to the survivor
  • A glossary of legal jargon defined in plain language by the survivors who lived their meanings
  • A framework that can expand to serve survivors in other counties with distinct TRO application forms and processes

* Impact

EasyTRO demonstrates how a small group of technologically fluent survivors, working in concert and with access to resources galvanized through AnnieCannons, can help exponentially more survivors.

Survivor graduates of our program earned income by helping to research, guide, design, and code the EasyTRO app, building portfolios, skillsets, and the confidence that comes from knowing your work has helped others. Now, EasyTRO will be distributed through the Alameda County Family Justice Center, local hospitals, and other victim services organizations to survivors to help them take the first step toward building a new life. Now, they can do so without worrying that a simple mistake on a complex form will be the reason they or their children continue to face abuse. [[Same Q as earlier about courts forcing survivors to share custody w abusers. Need to clarify.]]

Together with our graduates, we’ve mapped a path for abuse survivors all over America to have access to the justice system that does far too little to protect them. With the help of donors who support its expansion to new counties with uniques forms and processes, Easy TRO can extend its reach to help millions of survivors nationwide.