Recently-launched app iMatter looks to help women recognise signs of physical, emotional and psychological abuse.
The app, created by Australian organisation Doncare, aims to educate young girls and women about abusive and controlling relationship behaviour by providing information on destructive behaviours and language to look out for as well as detailing the impact that abusive and intimate partner violence can have on someone’s physical and mental wellbeing.
The app delves into some of the less-obvious symptoms of abusive behavíour which may not be as visible as physical violence but still impact negatively on a person’s health. iMatter also allows users to share content with the community, support others experiencing domestic violence, and, crucially, provides details of support services. The platform is the virtual component to Doncare’s (short for Doncaster Community Care and Counselling) ongoing grassroots work of the same nature, whereby young women host workshops in schools to interact directly with female students and engage with them on the topic of healthy relationships. According to the organisation, young women are found to be at higher risk of intimate partner violence than men while a report on tackling domestic and sexual violence against women and children released by the Australian government in 2011 stated that one in three Australian women has experienced physical violence.
Doncare’s iMatter programme has a distinct focus on building self esteem and equipping young women with the knowledge and tools to help them make safe, positive choices for themselves in relationships. Providing a virtual accompaniment to their offline work allows women to seek information, help and support anonymously and on their own terms. The app is available for Android and iOS.