Remote Daisy chains

Article image - Remote Daisy chains Senator Michaelia Cash, Kristy McKellar and Rosie Batty.

A phone application aims to provide help to women in rural and remote areas of Australia experiencing the impacts of sexual assault, domestic and family violence.

Daisy was developed with input from all State and Territory governments and funded by the Australian Federal Government
It has been downloaded approximately 100 times each week since its launch in March; totaling more than 2000 downloads nationally.
The Daisy app was recently upgraded with features to increase accessibility, aiming to connect a larger number of women to vital information and services.

The updates include translated information across 28 language groups, text-to-voice functionality for women with a vision impairment (or low literacy) and an SMS function for women living in rural or remote areas.

The now Minister for Employment and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the app is a valuable tool for women experiencing violence to access services relevant to their unique situation.

“We need to make accessing support for women experiencing violence as easy as possible. Acknowledging that every situation is different, the updated app will now be more relevant and more accessible to a wider scope of women.

“For example, for some women living in isolated parts of Australia police may not be the first point of response. We also know that women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds represent a significant portion of women living in violent situations. Daisy 2.0 seeks to address those specific groups to increase accessibility for women across Australia.

“To make accessing support as straightforward as possible, Daisy provides women with an easy-to-use list of specialist sexual assault, domestic and family violence services in their state and local area.”

Special features of Daisy include a ‘Get Help’ function that allows users to quickly call 000 and a ‘Quick Exit’ button to leave screens containing service information.

Anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty praised the app for helping to raise awareness of women’s rights and options and connecting even more women to services.

“Family and friends can also use Daisy to gather information to support a loved-one’s decision making.”

She also emphasised the importance of connecting women with specialist services, such as those listed on Daisy.

“When you are experiencing gendered violence, people often tell you what to do – but the strongest predictor of a woman’s safety is the woman herself.

“What Daisy gives you is options and choices – it will help connect you with options and make choices that suit you, not what people tell you to do. If a refuge is the help you want, you can access that information. If you want specialist support, that’s there too.

“The phone is often the thing that you keep the closest, so to have all this information on an app is fantastic. It’s helpful and convenient and it will make connecting to the right organisations a lot easier.”

In June, Daisy won a 2015 Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Victorian iAward for government innovation.

Daisy was recognised for the easy, intuitive and safe way it enables users to find a wide range of services – from specialist services, legal support or financial counselling, through to housing providers.

Daisy is free to download from Google Play for Android phones and the App Store for iPhones.