Frequently Asked Questions

How do I download Penda?
Step 1
Think about your safety. Separation can be a dangerous time. If your (ex) partner monitors you, makes you feel scared, intimidated or controlled, please consider if it is safe for you to search for or download this app.

Step 2
If safe, go to Google Play or the Apple App Store and search ‘Penda’. Tap to download.

Step 3
Follow the download prompts.

Step 4
If it is not safe to use this app, consider asking a friend, family member, employer or support person to instead, or call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Why was Penda developed?
Financial abuse is an enormous barrier to women leaving an abusive relationship and becoming safe. Financial insecurity is one of the leading reasons women stay in or return to an abusive relationship.

Financial abuse often involves being controlled through finances. This may include not receiving access to money, being excluded from financial decision making, taking on relationship debt and being unaware of the consequences or not being allowed to work or study.

Financial protection and security are key requirements to ensuring women’s long term safety from violence because poverty and financial hardship can be a cause of women staying in, or returning to abusive relationships.

Who is Penda for?
Penda is for women in Australia who have experienced domestic and family violence (DFV), especially if they are thinking about separating or have just separated.

Friends, family, employers and support people can also use Penda to help others.

Does Penda help women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds?
Penda provides links to both domestic violence factsheets in other languages and support service referrals for women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

What if there are safety concerns?
User safety has been the primary focus throughout the Penda App development process. A number of safety features have been integrated including:

– Inconspicuous icon and name
– Lock screen game function can be accessed quickly by tapping icon or shaking device
– Passcode setting optional to open app
– Safety warnings prior to and after download
– Highly gender targeted washroom advertising communications campaign.

What does Penda mean?
Penda takes its name from the Golden Penda – a hardy Australian native rainforest plant. The Penda blossom represents renewal, growth, hope and resilience. The combination of ambiguous name and flower icon promote safety with DFV perpetrators not readily able to identify the app’s true purpose.

Is Penda being evaluated?
Consultancy, Ithaca Group has been contracted to provide an independent evaluation of the success, usefulness and usability of Penda. Ithaca Group have been involved throughout the design phase, with client safety informing their methodology. Comprehensive qualitative user testing will be combined with more quantitative in- app, behavioural evaluation metrics.

How was Penda funded?
Penda has been developed by Women’s Legal Service Queensland in collaboration with Financial Rights Legal Centre with funding from Financial Literacy Australia. A national washroom advertising campaign has been made possible through Community Partner, Credit Union Australia. A grant from SDA supports Penda search engine optimisation.

We thank all of the many organisations that have contributed to Penda with content, feedback, promotion and distribution.

What if I have feedback?
We welcome feedback regarding Penda. Feedback may be provided directly in the app on each page or through the in-app survey.

For further information please contact Women’s Legal Service Queensland on (07) 3392 0644 or