The iMatter app has been developed to help young women understand the warning signs of abusive and controlling behaviour in relationships as well as promote healthy self-esteem. The aim is to build resilience, to educate about disrespect and intimate partner violence and to promote conversations among young people about healthy relationship behaviour. Users can share content, save content to their phone and learn how to recognise and address controlling/abusive behaviour and gender inequality, as well as support others who are experiencing violence.
The interactive iMatter app provides a regularly updated series of positive messages, videos and quizzes to raise awareness of the warning signs and impact of intimate partner violence. The app also aims to empower users by providing information on self-esteem, assertiveness and details of support services. All of these features will enable users to be informed, forewarned and alert to dangerous behaviour and to learn how to achieve and maintain personal safety, both physical and psychological.
Intimate partner violence is increasing in our society and young women are known to be at higher risk. Australian research indicates that young women aged 15-19 may see abusive and controlling behaviour as protective and caring (Chung, 2007) and that 22% of young women under 20 have been victims of actual harm from dating violence (National Crime Prevention Study, 2001).
iMatter is a youth leadership/ intimate partner violence prevention project to assist young women to navigate their early relationships safely. The iMatter Project trains Young Leaders (18-25) in leadership skills and in recognising and responding to disrespect and abuse in relationships. These young women then run seminars in schools. The ‘iMatter’ mobile phone app builds on the project’s success and aims to prevent abuse and violence via a “virtual support group”.
To find out more about iMatter, contact Doncaster Community Care and Counselling (Doncare) at http://www.doncare.org.au/