Female participants aged between 16 and 50 are being asked to try I-DECIDE, the first Australian online interactive tool designed to provide practical and confidential support to victims of domestic violence.
The website has been developed by a team led by Professor Kelsey Hegarty and Dr Laura Tarzia from the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Hegarty said that I-DECIDE helps women in unhealthy or unsafe relationships to self-inform, self-reflect and self-manage safety issues as well as connecting them to the relevant services for assistance.
“It allows women a safe, anonymous, private space to assess their relationship health, weigh up their priorities, and make an individualised plan of action for themselves and their children,” Professor Hegarty said.
“The website aims to support all women, whether they wish to stay, leave, or have already left an unhealthy relationship,” she said.
Professor Hegarty is encouraging women to participate.
“Women who used the tool in preliminary testing responded very positively, saying it helped them gain perspective and feel more in control of their own and their children’s safety. They also perceived the website as an objective, unbiased resource that would not judge them,” she said.
Professor Hegarty said that offering women the opportunity to seek confidential help is the focus of the new University of Melbourne online tool.
Funded by the ARC, the project builds on the pilot of a safety ‘decision aid’ in the US and extensive work with women and community groups in Australia including the Domestic Violence Resource Centre, SafeSteps Family Violence Response Centre, Berry Street Services and Drummond Street.
(Source: The University of Melbourne)