Phone a Friend with the Circle of 6 Violence Prevention App

screen cap of the phone app showing six contacts in a circleThe Circle of 6 iPhone app, designed to prevent sexual assault and dating violence among young adults, launched today—just in time for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And it's free!

From the website:

Dating violence and sexual assault are widespread problems among young women, with nearly 1 in 5 reporting assault while in college. With only two taps, Circle of 6 connects users threatened with possible sexual assault and abuse to a network of trusted friends, using GPS technology, anti-violence online resources, and a commitment to support each other.

Users of the app select six trusted friends—Circle of 6 provides tips on choosing them—to form a "circle." The app then allows you to send pre-programmed messages to your circle like "Come and get me. I need help getting home safely," and "Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption" with just two taps of your phone.

Circle of 6 was developed by mobile and women's health expert Deb Levine of Internet Sexuality Information Services and filmmaker and violence prevention specialist Nancy Schwartzman of the Where is Your Line? project. Says Schwartzman, "Circle of 6 is a tool that meets young people where they are and offers concrete strategies for supporting each other, whether safety threats are coming from intimate relationships or potentially dangerous social situations." Here's a video that demonstrates how the app works:

Circle of 6 Anti-Violence App for iPhone from Nancy Schwartzman on Vimeo.

Of course this app is far from perfect—it doesn't make a direct connection to sexual assault prevention beyond providing hotline numbers, and I have a hard time imagining a college student (or anyone) sending a text message to friends that reads "I'm looking up information about healthy relationships and respect. Just letting you know." However, it does reinforce the notion that sexual assault and violence prevention is a community effort (combine it with your Hollaback! app for maximum effectiveness), and the more we send that message, the better.

Circle of 6 makes it easier for someone in a dicey situation, be it sexual assault or something else, to get help from friends, and that alone is worth downloading.

Learn more about Circle of 6 and download it—for free!—by visiting the website.

Comments

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Circle of 6 App

Thanks so much for the mention! The most important thing for us was to provide a useful tool that doesn't victim blame and we are looking forward to the continued evolution of the App. The dating violence piece is incredibly tricky, our goal there was to acknowledge that Dating Violence is an issue, break isolation, and provide resources, and provide a subtle way for a friend to reach out to the group - or the group to reach out to their friend.

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Hi I found your site by mistake when i was searching yahoo for this acne issue, I must say your site is really helpful I also love the design, its amazing. best writing I don’t have the time at the moment to fully read your site but I have bookmarked it and also add your RSS feeds. I will be back in a day or two. thanks for a great site.