Rosie Batty launches app for young women

Rosie Batty as 2015 Australian of the Year at the Australian of the Year Awards at Parliament House forecourt in Canberra, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. (AAP Image/Wayne King) NO ARCHIVING

Australian of the Year Rosie Batty has helped launch a new domestic violence app, designed to help young women.

Violent relationships aren't limited to black eyes so it's vital women are empowered to deal with psychological abuse as well, Australian of the Year Rosie Batty says.

Ms Batty, who became an anti-domestic violence campaigner after her 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father a year ago, has helped launch a revolutionary app for young women.

Doncare's iMatter app, unveiled on Valentine's Day, is designed to empower young women and help them understand the warning signs of abusive and controlling relationships.

Ms Batty says the app will help educate women about different forms of domestic violence, increase awareness and support them to make safe choices.

"I think throughout our communities, at any age, we're learning it's not just about physical violence," she told reporters on Saturday.

"Violence is also psychological, which includes verbal.

"It's not just about wearing a black eye and physical harm, it's far more complex than that."

Ms Batty said she was aged 40 when she realised it wasn't her fault.

"It was violence and no one ever deserves it," she said.

Research shows 22 per cent of girls under 20 have experienced dating violence.

The interactive iMatter app is also aimed a promoting self-esteem, and conversations between young people about healthy relationship behaviour.

"If you're approaching a relationship when you have no self esteem you're most likely to enter into a toxic relationship," Ms Batty said.

"It will not get better, it will wear you down and will reduce you to a very low point."

The app, which includes images, clips, quizzes and articles, is now live.

It enables users to share and save content and use the app as a journal.

Doncare clinical director Carmel O'Brien said it was like driving lessons for relationships.

"We hear again and again from young people that they are putting up with things in relationships that are really very disrespectful and sometimes frightening," she said.

Source AAP

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