Opinion and Editorial

Who’s in Your Circle of 6?

With events such as Block Party and summer vacations right around the corner, it is a great idea to have a few fail-safes stored in your back pocket for any sticky situation you might encounter. This will be the first article in a two part series on personal safety. So, without further adieu, here we go!

First off, grab your smartphone and download Circle of 6. Circle of 6 is an app for iPhones, and androids, that helps to prevent violence before it happens.

With 1 in every 4 women being the victim of assault, and yes, men are at risk for being victimized also; this app can be a useful tool to bringing that statistic down. Winning the White House/HHS Apps Against Abuse Technology Challenge, Circle of 6 presents you with the ability to, literally, press a button and have help on the way.

Here is how Circle of 6 works. Once you have downloaded the app and opened it, you will be promoted to choose six of you closest friends. Keep in mind that you want not just your most trusted friends, but also six of your physically nearest friends. Everyone has one of the buddies that will get out of bed and drive to pick them up at 3 a.m. Those are the people you want on this app.

Once you have your chosen six compadres, the app is ready to use. Your six buds will be displayed, in a circle, around a green bubble that reads, “ask my circle to.”  Three icons will be displayed once you press that bubble.

If you are out late and don’t feel comfortable walking home by yourself, hit the car icon. An SMS message will be sent out to your circle that reads, “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely.” This action will also send a GPS map with your location, so your buds can get to you.

Ever been on a date that is taking a turn for the worse? That is what the phone bubble is for. Hit that icon and your circle will get a text that says. “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.”

The third icon is a conversation blurb. This will send out an SMS message that will let your six know that you might need help soon, but not yet.

If you find yourself actually in trouble, this app provides an “Immediate Danger” icon. Click it and you can choose one of three pre-programmed numbers to call for help. Rape or Sexual Assault: RAINN hotline, Relationship Abuse: Love is Respect hotline, or you can choose to have your campus or local police programmed as the third number.

Once you are safe, just click on the check mark icon and your circle will be notified that you have received help and are safe.

Thankfully, I have never had to use this app, but I feel a bit of comfort knowing that it is literally in my back pocket, if I ever would need it.

Check back in soon for the next piece in this series, where I will run through some simple and easy self-defense moves.