New mobile app to address domestic and family violence
Published Wednesday, 15 December, 2021 at 02:40 PM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
A new phone app is now available to make it easier for Queenslanders to recognise domestic violence and safely take action to support their friend or family member.
Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government have partnered with the Griffith University MATE Bystander Program and Telstra on the new bystander app project.
“Across the State our communities have been deeply impacted by recent tragic events and we know people want to do more to put a stop to violence against women,” Minister Fentiman said.
“That’s why we have partnered with the Griffith University MATE Bystander program and Telstra to develop the Be there app to make it even easier for Queenslanders to access vital information they need to support a friend or family member experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV).
“The community has been coming out in force, at rallies and vigils, declaring ‘enough is enough’. This app will be aimed at these very people who are determined that they won’t let this happen to their friends, family and loved ones.
“We’re trying to make it easier for Queenslanders to identify what DFV is and be able to respond earlier and appropriately to what can usually be a complex and difficult situation.”
The directors of the MATE Bystander program Shaan Ross-Smith and Anoushka Dowling said the app is a critical tool to empower people to be there for others.
“MATE already delivers person-to-person training, online webinars and other modules, and the Be there app is another way to empower us to challenge a conversation, behaviour, or a sense that something isn’t ok, before it’s too late,” Shaan Ross-Smith said.
“At MATE we work to create safe spaces and the app is the perfect way for those who feel like they don’t want to get involved, to find their voice and create meaningful change,” Anoushka Dowling said.
Telstra’s General Manager of Queensland Government Business Gaven Nicholls said Telstra was committed to making a positive difference in the community for those affected by domestic and family violence.
“We are really proud to have partnered with Telstra Purple, our technology services arm, to work together with Griffith University and the State Government to develop the software and design work needed for this incredibly important resource,” Mr Nicholls said.
The Minister said the design process began last year and involved extensive consultation with stakeholders including people with lived experience, their friends and family, and the services that support them.
“The app will provide helpful information and will refer users to resources and services,” she said.
“It will also work as a guide to help a bystander to do simple appropriate things like check in with their friend, offer their support – now or whenever they need it.
“Because we know that even the smallest gestures or actions can be powerful.
“And because we know life gets in the way, for even the most motivated friend, the app will nudge the user with suggested simple and safe actions they could take and help guide the conversation they might have.”
The Minister said a new campaign will be launched this month to raise awareness around non-physical violence in the lead up to summer break.
“Sadly, we usually see increased reports of domestic and family violence during the holiday season,” she said.
“That’s why we will launch our awareness campaign across social media, on catch up TV and in public spaces across the State.
“It’s so important that Queenslanders know how to recognise all forms of violence and also know that services will be available during the Christmas break.”
The Be there app is now available on Apple and Android stores.
Dropbox link to video and images of the app.
Media contact: Inga Williams 0439 949 719 (Minister Fentiman)
Danita Goodwin 0439 88 66 52 (Telstra)
Louise Crossen 0418 799 544 (MATE Bystander program)
DV Connect Women's line: 1800 811 811
DV Connect Men's line: 1800 600 636