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Abstract

This feasibility study examines the use of intelligent, online advisory tools to address the informational needs of domestic-violence (DV) victims. We examine the practical and conceptual challenges faced when helping emotionally stressed DV victims to make crucial life decisions. Our focus is on the information needs involved in the early phase of the decision process, viewed in terms of both the transtheoretical model and empowerment theory. We review DV victim-support sites in Australia, the U.S., and the UK to highlight their best-practice design elements. We further illustrate these elements with a paper-based prototype of a DV victim Online Advisory System (OAS) that uses personalisation techniques to provide a sense of empowerment for the DV victim. Empowerment increases the DV victim’s level of self-esteem, reduces their tendency towards self-blame, and reduces their level of anxiety.

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