Epione – creating space for intimacy for sexual assault survivors

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction DesignHong Kong


Concept / Student


Diana Pang


One in three women in the world have experienced sexual violence in their lives. Not only is the healing process a non-linear journey for survivors but also for their partners. As intimacy begins or returns in a relationship, it is often a difficult and anxious journey for both survivors and their partners. Epione is a toolkit that supports couples who have experienced sexual assault by normalising the effects of trauma and enabling conversations about boundaries and desires. It consists of a grounding device that helps couples cope with overwhelming moments and a card game that encourages communication. The ring-shaped grounding device helps couples refocus on the present moment and engage with their senses when confronted with overwhelming thoughts and feelings. It encourages couples to connect with each other through synchronising their heart rates by breathing in unison guided by lights with pulse sensors. Communicating boundaries and desires can be difficult for survivors and their loved ones. The card game creates a safe space for couples to engage with each other through question prompts and activity suggestions on building emotional and physical intimacy. Game pieces form a totem which serves as a reminder for couples to acknowledge their boundaries and desires. Epione reduces the stigma around sexual assault by normalising the effects of trauma and addresses different needs during the healing journey. Focusing on redefining intimacy, it creates space for couples to explore different ways to connect with each other.

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