App Review: MyPlan
A Free Smart Phone App That Helps You Assess Your Situation and Make a Plan for Safety
While some abuse victims may not realize they are in an abusive situation, that is not always the case. So many more are faced with the reality day to day that they might be in a dangerous situation, yet they don't know how to safely leave. When I was doing some research today, I found an app that could help you if you are in the second group of abuse victims. However, it's also important to note that their app is also ideal for survivors of abuse who have already left their abusive relationship.
Just because you leave an abusive relationship doesn't mean you are 100% safe.
The app is called MyPlan, and it is available to download on both Android and Apple devices. Here are some of the features the app includes that could be helpful:
1—There is a four-part assessment that takes less than 15 minutes to help you determine the health and safety of your unique situation.
It includes the following sections:
my Relationship Health
Once I finished the first section, the app updated with nine new strategies for safety. Then, when I continued to the second assessment, it determined that my previous relationship was an unhealthy situation for me, and it provided me with four more new strategies to help me.
The next assessment asked me a lot of questions pertaining to violence and physical safety. Though I left my abusive situation almost five years ago and have had no contact with him throughout most of that time, it determined that I was still in severe danger. (It is important to stop and note here that one of the most unsafe things someone can do is such a volatile relationship is to leave their partner without any safety measures in place. This is something we shouldn't take lightly.) It also provided me with another new strategy to help keep me safe.
The last assessment asked me to prioritize what was the most important thing to me, and it determined at the end that safety was my most immediate concern. Then, it gave me two more new strategies to help me.
2—There are several strategies they provide you to help you stay safe, secure, healthy, and protected.
These will vary depending on your situation and your assessment, but they are split between these categories:
Make an emergency plan
Get legal help
Take care of your health
One of the things that stands out to me with these strategies is that it takes care to consider other issues that could affect you if you are LGBTQ. So, if you identify with that community, you can rest assured knowing that they've also considered issues unique to your life.
3—They have also included a learning section that tests your knowledge about abuse and healthy relationships.
I think this feature of the app is particularly helpful if the person who downloads the app has done so because they want to help someone they love who is in an abusive relationship. In fact, when you first start the app after downloading, it does ask you if you are concerned about your own relationship or the relationship of someone you are concerned for. This is one of the aspects of MyPlan that makes me feel they have thought of everything when they designed the app.
4—There are also some features that will help in case your abuser gains access to your phone or happens to be present when you are looking at the app.
This one is actually one of my favorite features of the app! When you first start the app right after downloading, they will ask you to set a person PIN so only you know how to get into the app. They also inform you that you can enter a special PIN if your abuser is present.
However, this does not make it 100% safe, so if your abuser still has access to your smart phone, you will still need to be cautious about your use of this app. Of course, it can be easily uninstalled, and you can lock the app if your abuser comes into the room. But there are still other ways your abuser can find out what the app is if they are concerned that you might be thinking about leaving. For instance, they can either look at your download history if they have access to your phone, or they can look up the app on their own phones to see what it's all about. As I tested out the app, this was the only downside I could see to using the app, so please keep this in mind if you are still in a dangerous situation.
What other apps have you used that have assisted you in your safety plan? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!