Yes, there is actually an app for that. The recently launched Circle of 6 app is designed to combat sexual violence before it happens. The app allows users to choose a set of six friends to whom they can send a message quickly in time of help, and also includes a GPS finder and pre-programmed hotlines. The app is targeted to U.S. college students, a crucial group considering the prevalent rape culture on some college campuses. But anyone can use the app, and though the built in hotlines are for U.S. 1-800 lines, the user can choose a third international line. The Feminist Wire reports that eight thousand people have downloaded the app, which won the White House’s “Apps Against Abuse” Technology Challenge. Circle of 6 co-creator and Executive Director and Founder of Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. (ISIS) Deb Levine describes the app a safe way to access immediate support:
“Talking about sexual violence can be very difficult. As a health educator, I’ve seen that it’s often easier for people to reach out for help from behind a screen. Circle of 6 offers a free way to stay safe and support your campus community, with the ease of a few clicks on a smart phone.”
Many college students do not leave their house (or dorm) without their smartphone; Circle of 6 uses a tool they already possess to combat sexual violence. The many who don’t have access to this kind of technology are still left behind, however. But with the growing prevalence of smartphones among college students, using language already known to them is a very smart way of preventing sexual violence.
Circle Of 6 App: Stopping Sexual Violence Before It Happens [The Feminist Wire]