Launch of world-first app to combat domestic violence 

MATE Bystander Director Shaan Ross-Smith at the launch of the Be there app with the Attorney-General, MATE Ambassador Rhys Carroll and Telstra representative Gaven Nicholls.

Griffith University’sMATE programhasdeveloped aworld-leadingsmartphone app designed to help prevent domestic and family violence.

TheMotivating Action Through Empowerment (MATE)Bystanderprogrampartneredwiththe QueenslandGovernment and Telstraon the‘Bethere’ app, which was officially launched this week.

The appprovidestipstospotthe signs of an unhealthy relationship andadvice on interveningsafely to protect friends and family impacted by violence.

Directors of the MATE Bystander program Shaan Ross-Smith and Anoushka Dowling saiditwas a critical tool thatempoweredpeople to be there forfriends and family.

“We all know of somebody who has been affected in some way by domestic violence and we all want to know what we can do to help,” Ms Ross-Smith said.

“The app will empower bystanders with the information they need to make informed decisions and intervene in safe and respectful ways.”

“MATE already delivers person-to-person training,online webinars and other modules and the Bethereapp is another way to empower us to challenge a conversation,behaviouror a sense that something isn’t ok, before it is too late.”

Ms Ross-Smith said the partnership between Griffith University, state government and Telstra demonstrated the need for a united front in tackling domestic and family violence.

“It’s been a fantastic collaboration between the MATE Bystander program,government and privateenterprise,” she said.

“By itself,the app won’t stop domestic and family violence,butwewant to help peoplelook for the signs of violence, providesupport and report it.”

Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the app was a vital part of the Government’s domestic and family violence prevention strategy.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman with Shaan Ross-Smith and MATE Ambassadors Danielle and Rhys Carroll

“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,”shesaid.

“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.”

MsFentiman said it was wonderful to see Griffith University lending its expertise to address this vital issue.

“Griffith University have really led the way in working with bystanders and the community to play their part in tackling domestic and family violence. I’m so proud of this partnership.”

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 with Griffith University and the State Government to develop the software and design work needed for this incredibly important resource,”hesaid.

Griffith University’sMATE Program isan education and interventionprojectthat helpschallenge problematicbehaviouraround domestic violence, including coercive control.

‘Be there’is an initiative delivered by Griffith University’s MATE Bystander Program, with funding support from the Queensland Government, powered by Telstra.

It is now available to download from the App Store and Google Play.