Tag Archives: violence

More than games and social media: an app for keeping women safe

Standard

Even if you don‘t think it can or will happen to you, it‘s important to be armed with tools to get yourself out of dangerous situations. I always felt in college that I had good friends and a safe campus and yet I found myself numerous times shoved into an uncomfortable corner at some frat house or house party with some guy, away from my friends, feeling helpless and sometimes even scared.

I discovered this app towards the end of my college days and I’ve been meaning to blog about it ever since. It’s called “Circle of 6” and it’s basically a tool for young women to get out of situations where they may need assistance.

First, you choose six people from your contact list to be your “circle.” These people shouldn’t be just anyone, be more careful in choosing people who will truly be there for you in a second no matter what– I’ll explain that more later.

Here’s what the “circle” looks like.

 Image

The app gives you assistance in three types of scenarios. When you click the green circle in the middle that says “ask my circle to…” three more circles pop up and you can choose one of them. Here’s what that screen looks like:

Image 

The little car icon sends the six people in your circle a message that basically says you need a ride and can they please get you. It also attaches a google maps location for your texting recipients so they’ll know exactly how to get to you.

Here’s what that text looks like:

Image

That’s honestly the one I think would be most helpful with this app. A lot of times on campus too, especially on a big campus, if you get separated from your friends group, you may not even remember where you are or how exactly you got there. So this GoogleMaps location will help the situation tremendously.

Next, the little phone icon is for if you feel uncomfortable around a group of people or even on a date. Basically, this one sends a message telling the circle to call you and act like it’s an emergency or something. Yes, it’s an old trick in the dating book but this could help if you’re in an awkward, uncomfortable or even dangerous situation.

Image

The third one is just letting your circle know that your looking up information on safe relationships. This does not mean you need help right now, but it is just making them aware that you may be in a bad situation so they can at least be on the lookout for anything strange.

Image

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, you don’t want to just choose your roommates or people you hang out with the most as your circle. You can, but only if they are reliable people. It doesn’t mean they’re not good friends but I had friends in college who would disappear with guys or other friends at a party and wouldn’t answer their texts the rest of the night— they shouldn’t be in your circle because they’re never going to help you.

Also, make sure these people are pretty close in proximity to where you are going out. Obviously if you’re going to send a text saying “please come get me” it would help if they were close so they can get you out of that situation as quickly as possible.

Make sure the people in your circle are aware that you have this app and they are in your circle, so they aren’t confused when a text like this comes through.

Once someone in your circle calls to interrupt the date, or comes to pick you up there’s a notification you can send to your circle so the other five people are aware that you’re safe. This is the little checkmark at the bottom. It sends all of your circle a message that says: “Thanks everyone. I’ve gotten help.”

The app is nice because you’re simply tapping icons. If you are in an uncomfortable/awkward/dangerous situation, you don’t have to worry about going through your contacts or typing out a message. The messages are pre-written for convenience and confidentiality. The person you’re with won’t know what you’re even doing.

Please spread the word about this app to anyone you know who is in college, goes to parties or nightclubs, is actively dating, or just happens to be out and about often. I truly believe this would’ve helped me so many times had I known about it while in school. 

If you’ve used the app or have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them. As always, thanks for checking in.