Canada to launch free mobile app to support survivors of intimate partner violence

Federal government tasked Western University to develop the mobile app

Canada to launch free mobile app to support survivors of intimate partner violence

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has provided over $100,000 to Western University to develop a free, evidence-based mobile application to support survivors of intimate partner violence.

According to PHAC, the mobile application will facilitate access to local resources related to mental health and well-being, healthy relationships, finances and employment, and other issues affecting victims of intimate partner violence across Canada. It will also improve one’s knowledge on different measures in preventing and addressing intimate partner violence.

“Given increased rates of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, we're very excited to develop this made-in-Canada app to support women, and their children, in finding safety and improving their health and well-being,” said Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, Western University’s project lead. “The app can be used by women themselves as they consider options, and together with service providers as an additional form of support.”

Based on a recent report, one in 10 women in Canada was “very or extremely concerned” about the possibility of violence in the home, while 79 per cent of police-reported intimate partner violence was against women.

“Family violence and intimate partner violence are often hidden from public view, making it harder to prevent it or stop it,” Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this risk because of the combination of increased stress to families and because services are more difficult to access.”

“We congratulate Western University on creating this free mobile app which will facilitate safe access to local services for those experiencing family violence,” Bennett added.

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