Domestic violence app featured at ASU Innovation Day


Paul Atkinson

Jill Messing, an associate professor in the ASU School of Social Work, teamed up with Johns Hopkins University and other specialists to design a smartphone app that can help women in abusive relationships. Her work is one of dozens of projects to be highlighted at ASU Innovation Day held at Sun Devil Stadium Friday, November 16.


Called myPlan, the app provides women information about what qualifies as an abusive relationship and helps them identify red flags. It allows users to measure the degree of danger they currently face by completing a 20 question yes/no survey. Based on responses, the app provides women with a personalized safety action plan that provides relevant resources, available support systems and methods to keep the user safe.


“The app provides the user with a private, safe and non-judgmental space to consider their values and to weigh the risks and benefits of their relationship,” said Messing. “It’s tailored to each person’s unique situation and provides a safety plan as well as free and often confidential resources.”


Jill Messing

School of Social Work associate professor Jill Messing speaks at the Promoting Just and Effective Solutions to End Gender-based Violence event at ASU West September 12, 2018.

 Information on the app can be tailored to specific audiences such as college-age women, pregnant women and those in same-sex relationships. There is also a Spanish language option.

"Women who are in abusive relationships are often making very difficult decisions, but they don't really have anything to help them do that,” Messing said. “There is a lot of evidence that shows decision aids are really effective at helping people make difficult decisions.”

The myPlan app is available at Apple Store, Google Play and Web App.

Innovation Day

What: University-wide celebration of the mindset that has made ASU the most innovative university in the country four years in a row.

When: Individual events throughout the morning; afternoon central event begins at 3 p.m., with Reggie Watts taking the stage at 5 p.m. (free ticket required for Watts performance; limited number available on ASU mobile app — tap on the side menu and choose "365 Community Union").

Where: Morning events at schools and colleges on all campuses; afternoon event at the south end of Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

Food: At the stadium event, there will be free food and Starbucks Cold Brew while supplies last. Concession stands will be open for food and beverage purchase as well.

Parking and transit: Free beginning at 2 p.m. in Lot 59 on the north side of Sun Devil Stadium. Enter stadium from the southeast or southwest entrances. Shuttles from Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic or West campuses will have an additional stop in front of the stadium; those in Tempe can take the FLASH shuttle. Additionally, for the downtown campus, RSVP to the event and show your ID for a free one-day transit pass for light rail (passes available on the day of the event at the Parking and Transportation Services office in UCENT). Those using Lyft can use the code INNOVATIONDAY for 20 percent off rides to and from Sun Devil Stadium.

Online: Afternoon event will be streamed on ASU's Facebook page. You can also follow along on various social media by searching for the hashtag #ASUInnovationDay.