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Media opportunity: Dalhousie University brother‑sister duo develop app that looks like recipe site, but allows victims of intimate partner violence to discreetly seek help

Posted by Communications and Marketing on July 20, 2022 in News

A brother-and-sister team is hoping to offer victims of intimate partner violence a safe way to seek help through an app that looks like a site for recipes, but actually allows users to access resources or alert contacts to an emergency.

Anik and Anamika Ahmed, both students at Dalhousie University, developed the app Mitro after witnessing the attitude towards intimate partner violence while growing up in Bangladesh. After coming up with the idea, they surveyed 200 Bangladeshi women and confirmed the kinds of features needed in their pre-development research.

The app -- named after the word 'friend' in Bengali -- has four core functions. First, it has an emergency button that allows the user to send a prewritten emergency message and GPS location to a trusted contact. It also automatically records audio and video that are stored and can be accessed later as evidence.

Second, the app features a relationship safety assessment that helps people understand the nature of a safe relationship and provides a safety plan. And finally, it can connect intimate partner violence survivors with resources, like free legal services, health care or housing.

Anamika, a Master of Applied Computer Science student, and Anik, a Bachelor of Commerce student, topped 15 other teams in the World’s Challenge Challenge, winning $30,000 to continue developing the app.

Anamika and Anik are available to discuss how the app works and how they hope to release it first in Bangladesh by 2024 and then more widely for both men and women.


Media contact:

Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing & Creative Services
Cell: 902-220-0491


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