nursing schoolYoung love. Teenage romance. First kiss. It’s the stuff of movies, pop songs, and memories, and for most young women, a magical time. But for one in three women, ages 16-26, these relationships turn violent.

Each year, nearly 1,600 women are killed by their abusers. Increasingly, young women are part of this tragic statistic.

In September, the One Love Foundation launched the One Love app, a revolutionary new tool that allows young victims of relationship violence to assess the threat and use resources, digital and decision-making, for help. Available on iTunes and the Droid marketplace, the app is free and anonymous—and it’s backed by more than a quarter of a century of research by Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Anna D. Wolf Chair and professor of community-public health.

Since May 2012, Dr. Campbell, a national leader and researcher in the field of intimate partner violence, has worked closely to develop the app in collaboration with and through funding by the One Love Foundation. Named in memory of Yeardley Reynolds Love, the University of Virginia student-athlete who died tragically at the hands of her estranged boyfriend in May 2010, the One Love Foundation supports national programs that raise awareness of relationship violence.
The One Love app is based on Dr. Campbell’s Danger Assessment Tool, which she created in 1986 and has tested through several major research studies to back up the tool’s accuracy and usability. 

“If a young woman is concerned about whether her relationship is healthy or potentially abusive, she can download the app and go through the questions,” explains Dr. Campbell. The app helps her assess her level of danger, make decisions and offer links to resources, such as the Teen Dating Violence Hotline.

Even the app’s functionality has a young woman’s safety in mind. Once a person uses the app, it automatically disables and removes itself from the user’s smart phone, a handy and potentially life-saving feature should the abuser be a highly controlling person who monitors his partner’s phone. “Our goal was to make something readily available without it in any way inadvertently putting a young woman in a more vulnerable position,” Dr. Campbell explains.

Though geared toward the victim, family and friends also may use the One Love app with the victim to help her understand how dangerous it is to remain in the relationship and guide her to the appropriate resources, says Dr. Campbell.

“Family and friends should not feel like they can solve this for her,” she notes. “There are wonderful resources available to help. My hope is that young women around the country who have questions about their relationship or a friend’s will use the app if they are worried about the relationship.”

Upcoming plans include a One Love app for family and friends and a calendar feature. 

In August, Dr. Campbell, who holds a joint appointment with the Bloomberg School of Public Health, was named to the One Love Foundation’s National Advisory Counsel. She is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s national program director for its nurse scholarship program and the author of more than 240 articles and seven books on the subject of relationship violence. She has received numerous awards and posts, including co-chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on the Prevention of Global Violence, former Congressional appointee to the U.S. Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence, and current chair for the board of directors, Futures Without Violence.