Using technology to improve safety and accountability for parents

The 2018 STOP Domestic Violence Conference will be held next week at the QT, Gold Coast over 3 and 4 December with optional workshops on 5 December. 

Joining us at the conference is Ms Wendy Oxenham, CEO at Divvito who will present on Using technology to improve safety and accountability for parents’.

Abstract

Technology in most cases has exacerbated the issue of coercion and control by offenders with the victims of domestic violence. But what if technology could improve the safety of victims and accountability of offenders once DVOs are in effect yet there are exceptions around communicating around the children?

Divvito, a tech company that has created a messaging app that helps separated parents communicate more effectively using artificial intelligence. It’s point of difference is that there is a messaging bot Dani who helps keep communication on track and more importantly civil by flagging inappropriate messages. The team is in the middle of a pilot study in Townsville and Mount Isa to determine if their app can help improve the safety of victims and accountability of offenders. The pilot is being independently evaluated to determine its viability as a mitigation tool and more importantly to determine if victims felt safer communication with the offending parent.

In total, 15 agencies are involved in the 5-stage pilot and were instrumental in elaborating on the issues between parents around communication in Stage 1. 60 issues in total were raised and broken into multiple categories and communication types:

Issue Categories
• Irrelevant Messages
• Communication frequency and length
• Direct hostility
• Indirect hostility
• Privacy
• Physical safety
• Mental/ emotional safety
• Child-related communication

Communication Types
• Explicit content
• Implicit / Inferred content
• Implicit actions
• Explicit actions
• Form/Usage

By the time of the conference, we will be into Stage 4 of the pilot with DVO parents using the app for a minimum 6 weeks and can share the initial outcomes with the audience, specifically around behavioural change in offenders when there is a third-party assisting in effective communication.

Overview of Pilot attached.

Biography

Wendy Oxenham is the CEO of Divvito, a tech company that has developed Divvito Messenger, an app that helps separated parents communicate around the shared care of their children. Previously, Wendy ran a media and communications company for 12 years and following the breakdown of her marriage in 2013, she looked for solutions to help enable better communication between her and the children’s father. After releasing Divvito Messenger in January 2018, interest was raised by the industry in using the app for parents with DVOs in effect. This led to a DVO Breach Reduction pilot study commencing in July 2018.

Last minute tickets are still available for the 2018 STOP Domestic Violence Conference, please visit www.stopdomesticviolence.com.au

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