Everyone has found themselves in situations they do not want to be in. Maybe you are lost in an unfamiliar city, or someone who makes you feel uncomfortable is talking to you and you can’t figure out how to make it stop. In college these situations can happen more often than you would expect. You and your friends are out at a party and suddenly you can’t find anyone you know and you don’t know how to get back to your dorm. Maybe you need an out from someone who getting a little aggressive. Sometimes it can be hard to find your way out of these situations. And now there is an app that can help.
Circle of 6 is a free app that can be downloaded for iPhone or Android.It was designed for college students by the people at The Line Campaign, a non-profit organization that is trying to rid the world of sexual violence. Circle of 6 is very easy to use and has three major functions: 1) asking your friends for an interruption 2) asking for a ride 3) information on healthy relationships.
When you first download the app, it will ask you to fill out your circle. These are the six people that will be alerted if anything is up. Be thoughtful when you choose these people. Pick people that you trust and spend time with but also pick people who you know will hear their phone late at night. You want people who are likely to respond, and respond quickly. Having at least one or two people with reliable transportation is also a good idea.
Once you have filled out your circle the app is ready to use. The three main actions are coded with symbols, so someone looking over your shoulder won’t be able to tell what you are doing. You double tap the middle circle, and the actions will come up. These help you quickly access the help that you need, and will text everyone in your circle at once.
If you don’t know where you are, or cannot find a way to get home safely then hit the car symbol. A pre-written text will pop up asking your friends for a ride. If you allow the app to access your location, then it will also text your friends your GPS coordinates, so they know exactly where you are. All of the messages are signed with “sent thru Circleof6” so your friends know it is serious.
If someone won’t leave you alone, no matter how much you tell them to stop talking to you or dancing with you or whatever the case, you can hit the phone symbol to ask your friends for an interruption. Someone can call you and you can quickly exit the situation and stay on the line until you feel safe. That is the really important thing. Keep talking to someone until you feel safe. And keep your friends updated on your situation.
If you think you or a friend may be in an unhealthy relationship, you can hit the chat icon to talk to them about it. This lets your friends know what is on your mind, along with a quick resource, but does not require immediate action. It could be a great way to open up a discussion that can be really tricky to have.
At the very bottom of the app is an exclamation point in a yellow triangle. Hit this if you need to report rape, sexual assault, or relationship abuse. Hitting either one of these buttons will immediately call the national hotline. You can also add customized regional numbers.
I can’t stress enough how much I recommend that everyone download this app. It is an awesome way to keep communication open between you and your friends and keep yourselves safe.