iMatter: App launched to help women tackle abusive behaviour

MELBOURNE: Anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty has launched a phone app aimed at teaching young women how to recognise signs of unhealthy and abusive relationships, reported IANS.

The iMatter app, which is available on Google Play and iTunes, was launched on Valentine’s Day with an aim to teach women (between the age of 16 to 25 years) about intimate partner violence and build resilience.

According to Carmel O’Brien, director of clinical services at community services group Doncare where the app is hosted, iMatter can be used as a personal journal.

“It’s a bit like a virtual library of images, video clips, quizzes, articles,” O’Brien said.

According to ABC News, O’Brien said many girls thought controlling behaviour was actually protective.

“(Girls told us) we hear about healthy relationships in all sorts of useful ways,” O’Brien said. “But nobody tells us about that fine line between abusive and controlling behaviour.”

Batty, who recently received the title ‘Australian of the Year’, hopes to use the app to promote greater understanding of the fact that domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse.

“I think throughout our communities, at any age, we’re learning it’s not just about physical violence,” she told

“Violence is also psychological, which includes verbal. It’s not just about wearing a black eye and physical harm, it’s far more complex than that.”

The need for this kind of app was highlighted by a recent Australian study, which found 22 per cent of girls aged under 20 had been victims of harm from dating violence.

The app also promotes self-esteem and confidence, as Batty believes low self-esteem can lead young women to enter and remain in damaging relationships.

“If you’re approaching a relationship when you have no self esteem you’re most likely to enter into a toxic relationship,” Batty said. “It will not get better, it will wear you down and will reduce you to a very low point.”

She added: “If (the relationship) doesn’t feel right, get out of it. Get out.”