A way to stay safe: There’s an app for that

There’s often a time in a person’s life where they find themselves in an awkward or uncomfortable situation. It could be on a bad date, in a sketchy part of town or sitting at home, alone with feelings of uncertainty about a possibly unhealthy relationship.

In any of these situations, people need a good friend to save them and get them somewhere safe. That is where Circle of 6 comes in.

Circle of 6 is a free app created to protect people, more specifically, college-aged women, from potentially dangersou situations. The app allows users to pick six of their closest friends to be part of their circle.

     When users are in an uncomfortable situation in the future, they can send a message to their circle asking for someone to pick them up, call them with an excuse to leave or ask for relationship advice. There is also a hotline icon which the user can customize to a localized number they trust.

     In three taps — opening the app, tapping the middle circle and sending the message — all six friends will have received messages and know how to help. Once a friend comes or calls, the user can click a check mark to send a message out to the rest of the circle informing them of the user’s safety.

     Pacific Lutheran University’s Green Dot Coalition, along with Campus Safety and the Women’s Center, is trying to promote the app on campus, not only as a tool for safety but also as a way to promote a sense of community on campus.

     “The more people think ‘What’s my responsibility in this community?’ the more that translates to building a better community,” Johnathan Grove, men’s project coordinator at the Women’s Center, said. “We think downloading the app will allow people to make a commitment to community safety.”

     The people within a user’s circle don’t need to have the app as well, since the messages will be sent via text. The texts asking for a ride will also have GPS coordinates for easy locating.

     “If applied, it [the app] will be very affective,” Greg Premo, Director of Campus Safety, said.

     Premo also wanted students to program Campus Safety’s number (253-535-7441) for the hotline icon in case of emergencies.

                “It’s such an easy app. I hope people download it,” Grove said. “It’s not ‘new toy on Christmas morning’ cool, but it is cool when you need it.”

 

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