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Do You Have An Abusive Boyfriend? This App Will Help You

Here's a tool that could help avoid dating violence or abusive relationships. Scientists have developed a smartphone app that warns young women of a dangerous partner by helping them examine their relationships and potential behavioural red flags.

In an effort to arm young women with safety information, researchers developed the 'One Love My Plan' app, an interactive tool that helps college-age women in abusive relationships clarify their priorities and customize personal safety plans.

Women between the ages of 18 and 24 are at the highest risk for dating violence. However, these women are less likely than older adults to seek formal safety resources and instead look to peers or technology for help and advice, the app's developers said. 

"At some point, almost everyone knows someone in an unhealthy relationship," said Tina Bloom, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri's Sinclair School of Nursing. "The purpose of the My Plan app is to quickly and confidentially provide women and concerned friends with information and available resources. Our goal is not to replace existing services, but to better connect students with them," said Bloom.

To ensure that young women would find the app helpful, Bloom and her colleagues conducted focus groups with college-age women who identified themselves as survivors of abusive relationships.

"My plan app gives students tools to examine their relationships, set priorities and access resources when they are ready," said Bloom. She added that the app has features such as information on healthy relationship dynamics, relationship violence myths and behavioural red flags.
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