Harnessing Our Community to Empower Victims of Abuse
The stigma, shame and social isolation currently associated with being a victim of domestic abuse compounds the trauma of the experience. Stigma and shame often lead individuals to experience deep concerns about what will happen when they reach out for help, leading to continued isolation and withdrawal. As a result, there is currently a significant disconnect between individuals who are experiencing abuse, and the resources that exist to help them heal after abuse.
Fortunately, in today’s world of rapid technological advances, it is easier than ever to find and connect with others instantly using our smartphones. The Empower App aims to harness this power to strengthen individuals’ connections to a community of support, and challenge the perceptions of stigma and shame associated with experiencing abuse, to ultimately increase awareness that individuals are not alone in their struggles and that they are not to blame such that they will feel more confident to access support services.
By building upon individuals’ inner strengths and wisdom, the Empower App is a free resource that revolutionizes the way individuals can help themselves and each other. It enables users to initiate conversations with their peers, which can be powerful in ameliorating the disempowering effects of domestic violence. Conveniently, the Empower App provides a discrete access-point for individuals to find support at all stages in their journey of healing after experiencing domestic abuse, and is ready with self-care strategies, insight-building tools, safety plan packages, connections to community resources and more, as an individual becomes ready to take these next steps. The Empower App’s also includes several safety features, including being discreetly hidden behind the disguise of a puzzle game, password protection of the user’s profile, a panic button, and the ability to safely search the internet without leaving a browser history.
Who Will it Benefit?
The Empower App will be a free smartphone application resource that benefits anyone who: (1) owns an Android or IPhone smartphone, (2) is able to communicate in written English, (3) is experiencing any type of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, financial, etc.) OR (4) is supporting another individual who is experiencing abuse OR (5) is concerned for the safety of a child who is being exposed to or directly experiencing abuse, and (6) wishes to explore the topic of abuse within a safe, anonymous environment. The Empower App is gender-inclusive, and can be used by individuals of all ages. Even those within our community who do not personally download the Empower App may benefit from an increased awareness on the topic of abuse, as the Empower App enables users to share information via social media and therefore to spark further conversations.