While recognizing that the high price of smart phones makes access to the apps below inherently unequal, here are our suggestions for family violence-prevention apps that may be of use to smart phone users.
The ASPIRE News App
At first glance, the front page of the app looks like any news-surfing app. However, the discreet Help section actually provides resources for domestic violence victims, especially those whose online activity is closely monitored by an abusive partner. Within the help section, users can designate trusted contacts who will receive a pre-typed or pre-recorded message for help that the victim can send if they are experiencing domestic violence. Simply tap the title bar three times and a message will automatically go out to all your designated emergency contacts letting them know you need help.
iMatter is focused on prevention and education. The app helps young women identify the warning signs of abuse while also providing information about what a healthy relationship looks like. Self-esteem building tools empower users to put their physical and emotional safety first while content-sharing tools help facilitate conversations about dating abuse, healthy relationships and gender respect.
SafeTrek is a personal safety app that allows users to passively connect to police if they find themselves in an unsafe situation. By holding down a safe button, users can connect to police. If a situation arises, users simply release the button, triggering a 911 alert. If nothing happens, users can type in their pin and cancel the alert. While not specifically designed for domestic violence victims, SafeTrek can be a useful tool for stalking victims who want to be proactive about their safety.
These Swedish-designed emojis help children talk about abuse or neglect without having to put their situation into words. Users can choose from a set of 15 symbols—including a child with a black eye, a thought bubble depicting suicidal thoughts or an angry adult— and copy their choice into a message. The Abused Emojis provide an easy way for children to express why they feel sad, angry or mistreated without having to find the words to explain it to adults.