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Apps Against Abuse Challenge – Winners Announced

Apps Against Abuse Challenge – Winners Announced

Just over the last two weeks I’ve written about two new technological advances to help women combat sexual assault in Haiti and New Delhi:

Little did I know that right here in the United States the Office of the Vice President and the White House Office of Science and Technology had launched the Apps Against Abuse technology challenge.

The Challenge

The Apps Against Abuse challenge charges developers to create innovative apps to empower young adults to put an end to abuse and violence. According to the challenge site, the apps are envisioned to have a variety of features to help prevent dating violence and sexual assault like:

  • connecting victims with trusted friends in real-time to prevent the abuse from happening
  • allow friends to keep track of each other’s whereabouts
  • provide resources that will encourage users to intervene before abuse happens
  • provide resources to educate users how to intervene safely and effectively

The target users for the app include college students, residential advisers, sorority or fraternity members, and young men and women who want to help promote violence prevention in their communities.

And the Winners Are

From a pool of over 30 entries the winners of the challenge (drum roll please) are “Circle of 6″ and “On Watch.”

“Circle of 6″ is an application that allows users to set up a circle of six trusted friends that you can quickly text for help or advice with your GPS location included. In the event of an emergency, the app will directly call 1-800-Love is not abuse. The app also asks your contacts to take a pledge on Facebook to stop violence before it happens to expand your network of supporters even more.

“On Watch” is an app lets users transmit critical information to your support network via phone, email, text, and social media. With just a few clicks you can check in with friends, call 911 or campus police, set countdown times that send messages and GPS information automatically, and connect to sexual assault, dating violence, and domestic abuse hotlines.

Why the Need for Apps Against Abuse?

The reality of the need for phone applications to fight abuse is important now more than ever. Just take a look at the statistics:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 women report experiencing sexual assault while in college
  • 75% of college students say that it is important to intervene in assault but over half say they don’t know how
  • 60% of college students who have been in an abusive relationship say no one helped them

I hope these apps will do their job and help prevent dating violence and sexual assaults.

What do you think? Will they help? What about women who can’t afford smartphones? How can we empower these women?

Related from Care2:

Free Violence Response Hotline Launches in Haiti to Support Victims of Sexual Assault

There’s an App For That: Fight Back App Protects Women in New Delhi

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo by renatomitra used under a Creative Commons license

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8 comments

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4:06AM PST on Nov 7, 2011

Looks useful for college kids and the like.

6:37PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

good apps

3:34PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

great apps

11:45AM PST on Nov 6, 2011

Abuse has to be stopped dead in it's tracks. These Apps are a step toward that goal.

9:38AM PST on Nov 6, 2011

Good use of modern equipment. Thanks for the info and yes there is so much more to do, like educating men. Lesson one: No is used to express a negative attitude towards a proposal or whatever and therefore No=NO.A man can ask again but never use physical force or any other means of coercion.

And in case you have any doubt I am a man, married, two kids, four cats, so what's the problem.

7:54PM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

They can help, yes, but there is more to be done
Thanks for the info

3:38PM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

Thanks.....great apps

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