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New app connects women experiencing violence to specialist support

1800RESPECT
05 MAR 2015
WOMEN experiencing violence can find specialist support services across Australia in the one place through a new mobile app launched today.

The ‘Daisy’ app – developed by 1800RESPECT, and funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services – was unveiled in Melbourne by the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, and Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty.

In an Australian first, Daisy empowers women experiencing gendered violence to access services for their own unique situation – from specialist services, to legal support and advice, through to crisis accommodation – all from the one place.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Cash said the initiative provided women with an easy way to access a wide range of services that help women understand their rights and promote their options.

“Women experiencing violence can have well founded fears around the concept of ‘just leaving’. We cannot forget the frightening statistics that every week, one woman is killed by a current or former partner,” Minister Cash said.

To make accessing support as straightforward as possible, Daisy provides women with an easy-to-use list of specialist sexual assault, and domestic and family violence services in their state and local area.

“As responding to violence requires a whole-of-government approach, Daisy also lists essential legal, housing, finance and children’s services,” Minister Cash said.

“Recognising that technology can be used by perpetrators to control, stalk and intimidate, Daisy includes a number of security features such as a get help button that allows users to quickly call 000 and a quick exit button to leave screens containing service information. Daisy also has a technology tips section on how to increase safety online and when using mobile phones.”

Daisy is an initiative under the Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

Rosie Batty applauded the initiative, emphasising the importance of specialist services, like the ones listed on Daisy, to women experiencing family violence.

“When you are experiencing gendered violence, people often tell you what to do - but the strongest predictor of a woman’s safety is the woman herself,” Ms Batty said.

“What Daisy gives you is options and choices – it will help connect you with options and make choices that suit you, not what people tell you to do. If a refuge is the help you want, you can access that information. If you want specialist support, that’s there too.”

Speaking of her own experience, Ms Batty said the best support she ever received was at a 12-week course provided by a specialist provider in Rosebud.

“The course was about women in relationships and I realised I was the same as so many other women – it was empowering that we shared the same story. That was the lightbulb moment for me, when I knew I had to get Luke and me out of the situation I was in.”

Ms Batty praised the app for helping to raise awareness of the support that is available to women. “The phone is often the thing that you keep the closest so to have all this information on an app is fantastic. It’s helpful and convenient and it will make connecting to the right organisations a lot easier. Ultimately, Daisy helps raise awareness.”

Daisy has been developed with input by all State and Territory governments and will continually be updated to ensure it includes up-to-date information and is informed by best practice research. Daisy is free to download from Google Play for android phones and the App Store for iPhones, with an updated version of Daisy to be released later this year. Find out more about Daisy.

1800RESPECT is the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service. It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services as part of the Australian Government's commitment to reduce violence under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.

1800RESPECT is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Our services are available to people experiencing the impacts of sexual assault, domestic and family violence, as well as their support networks including family, friends and frontline workers.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit our website. In an emergency, call 000. 

Media contact

Kelli Browne, Director Communications and Marketing, ph: 0418 356 189 or email kelli.browne@medibank.com.au