Ramya Dronamraju is on a mission to change the way that young women approach and deal with dating relationships through the development of the groundbreaking app, Intuition. The therapy and self-journaling app seeks to prevent intimate partner and dating violence among the highest-risk population age-wise – college-aged women.
According to a 2017 article published by Healing Abuse Working for Change, “College-aged women (between 16-24) have the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence.” The same article states that, in 2017, more than half of college women had experienced dating violence by either a current or former partner.
Ramya’s app aims to change all of that.
A public health professional who has dedicated her practice to improving health outcomes for girls and women around the globe, Ramya grew up witnessing the damaging effects of domestic violence on women in her community. Her mother, who often worked three jobs at a time to provide for her family, served as a domestic violence advocate on the side. “Our house very often served as safehouse for many women who were unable to go home.” This was particularly true of the South Asian immigrant women that Ramya’s mother helped, women with few resources and little to no support systems in the new country that they called home.
I thought if I could just intervene earlier, that could help.
Seeing her mother help so many women planted a seed within her. But it wasn’t until she lost her own aunt to domestic violence two years ago that Intuition came to fruition. “I couldn’t shake the idea that I had to do something to prevent intimate partner violence from happening to other women. And I thought if I could just intervene earlier, that could help.”
And so, despite the fact that she’d never quite seen herself as an entrepreneur, Ramya set about formulating a plan for some type of intervention easily accessible to college-age women to help them recognize and heed the red flags that could be signaling a dangerous relationship.
We really believe that young people…have some semblance from their gut feeling that they’re not in the best situation.
“The reason we’re named Intuition is because we really believe that young people and everyone in general have some semblance from their gut feeling that they’re not in the best situation, “ Ramya says as she describes the self-journaling feature of the app. The app also connects users with a community, tools, and resources such as a network of therapists where they can get help to questions like, “Is this something worth saving? Is there something that can be improved here? Or is it best for me to leave?”
One of the keystones of the app is for users to know and recognize that they deserve to be treated well, no matter what – a crucial and meaningful first step in recognizing toxic patterns and abuse.
In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness month, Ramya and her team have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support their work to help ensure safe health outcomes for women and non-binary people in college. The campaign runs through December 24th and donations can be made here.
You can find more information about Ramya Dronamraju, her app, Intuition, and helpful info about recognizing and preventing intimate partner violence here.