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Feminspire | April 20, 2014

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Circle of 6: The App That Could Literally Save Your Life

Circle of 6: The App That Could Literally Save Your Life

If someone is faced with the threat of rape or sexual assault, or just wants out of an uncomfortable situation — well, there’s an app for that. While mace and rape whistles are well and good, the future is here: I introduce to you the Circle of 6 app.

Say you’re at a party and start to get uncomfortable, but your only friend there is having a blast; or you’re on a date that’s making you uncomfortable; even if you simply need relationship advice, this app does it all (the website even states “men can be victims of sexual abuse, too”). It’s backed by Joe Biden and has already won four awards, including the White House Apps Against Abuse Technology Challenge, Avon Foundation for Women End Violence, and an award from the Institute of Medicine.

Here’s how it works:

Once you download the app you’ll be prompted to choose 6 friends or family members. Choose ones that are close to you, who know you well, et cetera, just make sure they are people who would be willing to help you out. Above all, make sure that you trust them. I picked three local friends and three family members.

Next, there is the icons.

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The car icon means “someone come get me.” The app will send a text message prompting the receiver to come get you with a GPS location of where you are.

The telephone icon represents “call me,” in which case a message will be sent notifying the receiver that you require a phone call of feigned need, that you need an interruption and/or excuse out of a potentially dangerous situation.

The chat icon lets your pals know that you need advice. Along with notifying your Circle of 6, the app provides links to advice websites including LoveIsRespect.org and WhereIsYourLine.org.

Lastly, the exclamation point. This icon directs you immediately to a local Rape or Sexual Assault hotline, or a Relationship Abuse hotline, as well as allowing you to add a custom hotline for emergencies.

circle of 6

Why is this app so important? Mace is for cases when you’re at a point when you need to cause temporary harm. Rape whistles only work when others are around to hear them. LAS University in Illinois reported that students could not even distinguish the difference between a rape whistle and another whistling sound, as well as girls “jokingly” blowing it whilst at bars or parties (source).

This app starts before; as soon as you start feeling unsafe in any situation, all you have to do is pretend to be fiddling with your phone, when really you’re planning your escape, a safe exit. With the press of two quick buttons you can have your way out of an uncomfortable situation and a friend’s support within seconds (because we all know us young folk text so quickly). The first app of its kind, fighting rape and assault before it happens, providing a higher sense of safety to women (and men) everywhere.

This app is available for download on both the iPhone and Android for free, and I’m hoping all of you will download it and check out what it can do!

Have you ever used Circle of 6 to help you get out of a dangerous situation? Do you think you would find it useful? Share with us in the comments below!

Written by Sahra Schukraft 

  • http://fuckyeahfeminists.com/ FYF

    I am a survivor of campus rape. I was raped by my ex-boyfriend. He was abusive and did a very good job of isolating me from any people who may even be remotely a friend. I always wonder, with no one to turn to, how would this app help me or other people who are in similar situations? If you don’t have anyone you can trust, then who can be in your Circle of 6?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=567903336 Delaine Rae

      This is a very good question.

    • Sahra

      they do allow family; and the great thing about the app is, for future instances, you can get relationship advice as soon as things start to feel sour or as if he/they are controlling you too much. It’s to reach out before it gets to the point of someone being controlling and/or abusive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003832366866 Rain Stickland

      It would be good for you to connect to some form of support group, and maybe meet some people there. If you do it proactively, before you’re in the situation, wither you OR your new friends may have their life saved one day.

    • Random

      If you are in school, ask some teachers or administrators if they can help you figure out how to go about it. Try your local police station and see if you can befriend someone there. You might be lucky and find someone who is willing to help you out after they hear what is going on in your life, or maybe they can point you in the direction of someone or a group, it cannot hurt to try. If you are uncomfortable talking about it, maybe you can write out a small note asking for help and just pass it to someone working there who looks like they might be able to help you. You might be surprised by the people who are empathetic to your situation rather than being judgmental or evil folks trying to take further advantage of you. You have to seek out people you can trust and develop new relationships though if no one in your current social circle is willing or brave enough to help you out.

  • http://twitter.com/gia1haiti gia elie

    This is Amazing!! I’m telling everyone I can.. Stopping sexual violence?? There’s an App for that.

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  • Pingback: The Circle of 6 App: A Technological Helper for Sexual Assault Awareness Month | FOR THE BIRDS