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.
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.
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.
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