You're on a date ... with someone whose behavior is getting out of hand. Aggressive. Inappropriate. You want out. What you wouldn't give to send a smoke signal to your very best friends, to have them call riiiiiight this minute, rescue you, give you an out. A new mobile app will let you do it — and more. There's safety in numbers with Circle of 6.
Back in July, we told you about the White House's Apps Against Abuse challenge. Meet first place winner Circle of 6, a tool that puts our most tight-knit support networks right in our pockets. When it launches in January, users will be able to instantly and discreetly access their five most trustworthy friends should an unsafe situation rear its ugly head. GPS coordinates and mobile messaging functions give contacts all of the info they need so that that they jump into action to get help on its way ASAP.
The creative team behind Circle of 6 includes Nancy Schwartzman, founder of The Line campaign, and Deb Levine, founder and ED of ISIS. While brainstorming ideas and surveying college students, the two women found themselves drawn to the image of a circle. "[We] started researching the holistic properties of a circle: egalitarian, infinite," Nancy told Act. "It's how we hang out, especially in college. You have your crew, your gang, your circle. Your friends are nearby. You want them nearby. You can get out of these problems more easily if you can alert your friends more easily."
They joined forces with designer Thomas Cabus and developer Christine Corbett Moran to create the secure, privacy-driven submission described here; expect optimized functionality by January launch.
Will it actually help users feel safer? You bet.
Consider this stat from the White House: "Young women aged 16-24, experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, and 1 in 5 will be a victim of sexual assault during college ... Moreover, sixty percent of college students who have been in an abusive relationship say no one helped them."