Zonta House Refuge launches new app to help women in real life domestic violence situations
Zonta House Refuge Association will be launching a brand new app which will potentially save the lives of women in danger from domestic and family violence in Western Australia. The Positive Pathways App, named after the holistic outreach program run by Zonta House, will be the first of its kind in Australia. The App, which will be available on new and old iOS and Android devices by late November, will be free to users.
According to Zonta House Refuge Association Chair, Glenda Scott, the key element and differentiation of this app to any other DV app in Australia, is that the App serves a façade that it is not for emergency use.
“Mobile Technology is often seen to benefit the perpetrator more than the victim, with apps that can stalk through GPS activations like “find my iphone”. In addition, many domestic violence victims claim that their perpetrator can find ways to view the contents of their phone without their knowledge or consent. The crucial element of this phone therefore, is that it does not appear to be Domestic Violence related and yet it serves an incredible and potentially life-saving purpose”.
The App will have the following functionalities: The App has the façade of a women’s wellness app with Inspirational Quotes, Positive Moments and a Daily Diary which is password protected.
The primary purpose however is the emergency functionality: • By tapping the Positive Pathways logo three times (in two seconds) the app will activate the built in microphone to record five minutes of the crisis situation. The logo will glow red as it records. • At the same time as the audio recording, the phone will also prompt you to press SEND on a pre-written text message that asks for help and also sends your current GPS location to your trusted contacts. • The 000 button has the façade of a pattern but is the real emergency number. With one tap you can call the police.
The app has three key benefits in addition to the facade: • To keep the user safe by triggering help to friends/family • To provide mental health support to the user in the form of positive quotes and encouraging the user to think of how others have provided them with happy thoughts or memories whilst also using the dairy to record DV episodes. • To potentially use the audio recording in later court proceedings.
The Help and Plan section which is also password protected, allows the user to view information on the Positive Pathways program but also to set up the pre-emptive text message in advance. The audio recording in the phone will be in a hidden location on the phone which can be accessed by logging into the Help and Plan section. Users will be able to find out about the inner workings of the app by logging on to the Positive Pathways website. Much of the App is designed not to stream information from the internet which also serves the purpose to support women in rural and remote regions that are only using their phones through 4G or have little data supply.
The Positive Pathways app was developed by the team at Mobile Apps WA and ItchySoftware