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Updated app aids women experiencing violent relationships

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jul 7, 2020

Category: UNB Fredericton

Canadian women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) can now access a new and improved interactive health and safety app to help them assess their situation and plan next steps.

The myPlan Canada app is the latest version of iCAN Plan 4 Safety (iCAN), the first interactive online health and safety resource of its kind for Canadians experiencing IPV. The app was co-developed by UNB, the University of British Columbia and Western University.

Using the latest research, myPlan helps users weigh the risks in their relationship and set personal priorities. The tool offers personalized suggestions to enhance health and safety, while also providing location-specific contact information for services that can help.

This new way to support women in their health and safety planning has been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most organizations serving women note increasing severity of violence under lockdown and more need for help, but fewer ways to get help when the abusive partner is always nearby.

“The myPlan app provides women with another pathway to seeking help and support,” explains Dr. Kelly Scott-Storey, associate professor in UNB Fredericton’s faculty of nursing and a research fellow at the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research at UNB. “This is especially important during current times where we are seeing changes in how women are able to access usual services. The app is free, confidential, and is tailored to a woman’s unique situation.”

Affecting one in three Canadian women, IPV has been linked to increased risk of injury, as well as physical and mental health problems including chronic pain, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The myPlan app is freely available to any woman who has experienced intimate partner violence. By integrating research and technology, myPlan aims to provide easy access for women to make informed decisions and live their best lives.

This project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is spearheaded by a tri-provincial team of researchers: Dr. Scott-Storey of UNB, Dr. Marilyn Ford-Gilboe of Western University, and Dr. Colleen Varcoe of UBC.

The French version of the myPlan Canada app will be released in the near future. 

Media contact: Kelsey Pye
Photo: Dr. Kelly Scott-Storey. Credit: UNB.