An online interactive tool has been developed to provide practical and confidential support to victims of domestic violence.
The new I-DECIDE website—an Australian-first—was developed by a team led by Professor Kelsey Hegarty and Dr Laura Tarzia from the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne.
Professor Hegarty says that I-DECIDE helps women aged 16 to 50, 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,” Dr Hegarty says.
“The website aims to support all women, whether they wish to stay, leave, or have already left an unhealthy relationship.”
Dr 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 says.
Funded by the Australian Research Council, 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.
Women aged 16-50 years interested in participating should go to www.idecide.org.au on a safe computer to enrol.