In an effort to connect more young women with safety information, a team of researchers has develop the "One Love My Plan" smartphone application, an interactive tool that helps college-age women in abusive relationships clarify their priorities and customize personal safety plans.
University of Missouri researchers collaborated with Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and the One Love Foundation to develop the app.
"The purpose of the My Plan app is to quickly and confidentially provide women and concerned friends with information and available resources. Our goal is not to replace existing services, but to better connect students with them," Tina Bloom, an assistant professor at the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, said.
To ensure that young women would find the app helpful and comprehensive, Bloom and her colleagues conducted focus groups with college-age women who identified themselves as survivors of abusive relationships.
Bloom said the free app is filled with helpful features, including, information on healthy relationship dynamics, common relationship violence myths and potential behavioral red flags.
It also provides sample scripts for approaching friends who are possibly in dangerous relationships, personalized safety plans based on users' priorities and backed by scientific research.
Links to local and national resources, including the option to live chat with trained peer advocates through LoveisRespect.org, is also one of the tools.
The study was published in the Journal of Technology in Human Services.