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Technology innovations to support victims of violence and abuse

May 27, 2016 at 8:36 AM

Technology innovations to support victims of violence and abuse

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

Two domestic violence organisations have teamed up with business partners to develop online tools for victims of violence.

Phone app: 1 in 3 Be Free

Auckland's Inner City Women's Group has developed a phone app "1 in 3 Be Free" in partnership with Omnispex. The app is a quiz that helps women screen for indicators of domestic violence from a current or previous partner.

Deborah Mackenzie, Inner City Women's Group agency manager, said 'We recognise that it isn't always easy to identify when behaviours in a relationship become concerning, controlling, or abusive, so we want to help educate women about different forms of abuse and their effects."

The idea for the app came after ICWG noticed people asking questions about their partner's behaviour to check what was OK or not in a Facebook group. Ms Mackenzie said "These were women who were not reporting physical abuse, but rather mental and psychological abuse."

The purpose of the app is to help women understand different types of abuse and violence and know that support is available. At the end of the quiz, different types of abuse may be highlighted based on the user's answers. The app then provides a list of services in the area.

Safe access to online safety information

 Women's Refuge in partnership with The Warehouse has a launched a new tool to allow victims find information online without leaving an online trail. Victims can visit The Warehouse website, click on an icon and receive information about how to contact Women's Refuge, make a safety plan and access tips for staying safe online. The browser history will only show The Warehouse website.

Women’s Refuge Chief Executive Dr Ang Jury said "We’ve noticed an increasingly disturbing trend of perpetrators using smartphones, software and apps to track and stalk women, during and after the relationship has ended. The very tools we hope would assist a woman in seeking help are being used to abuse, and we needed to do something about that."

The Warehouse is the first business to offer the online tool, but Women's Refuge hopes other businesses will consider introducing the tool. Learn more about the online tool and how to add it to your website at

Additional information

See the previous NZFVC story on Research and resources to prevent and respond to digital stalking.