Even though technology has become an integral element of our lives, the advanced technology that we use on a daily basis —texting, gaming and so on and so forth—is still not considered a basic need. Circle of 6 completely changes this perception because it can be extremely helpful in times of danger. According to the app’s developers, one in four women are sexually assaulted, leaving them helpless, desperate and incapable of contacting anyone for help. Circle of 6 aims to prevent and inhibit such occurrences by allowing users to form a group of six closest or most trustworthy friends who will be able to assist each other in times of danger.
Circle of 6 understands the different types of situations that might arise and thus offers users a number of different options. For one, it enables users to set a message that will automatically be sent to the circle of six friends with one click. This way, the friends will immediately be informed so that at least one out of the six can come to aid the friend who is facing danger. In addition, Circle of 6 comes with a built-in GPS tracker. This feature comes into play when the user is in need of more than a simple excuse to escape the place his or herself; when users need physical and substantial help, the GPS tracker will let their friends know where exactly they are.
Founded by Tech 4 Good, a human rights mobile start-up, Circle of 6 emphasizes the need to prevent violence before it happens. In addition to the features described above, Circle of 6 comes with four main buttons that the users can press based on their own discretion. The first is the chat icon, which the users can use when they want to ask for advice but are not necessarily seeking immediate assistance. The chat icon is not advised in dangerous situations because it is easy for the other friends to simply ignore the message without knowing it was urgent, but it comes in handy when the user is simply looking for someone to talk to. Next is the phone icon, which enables users to excuse themselves when they feel uncomfortable on, for instance, a blind date. Pressing this button will send a message out to the five other friends to call the user so he or she can pretend to be taking a phone call and thus escape the situation. Probably the most helpful icon on the Circle of 6 is the car icon, which uses the GPS tracker to inform others of their location. However, in times of dire, urgent emergency, the users can also use the exclamation point to contact pre-programmed national hotlines that will help with critical conditions.
The effectiveness and legitimacy of Circle of 6 have been proven by many high schools and colleges, especially in places where danger and violence is prevalent. According to a study conducted by PBS where 550 high schools were polled, approximately 81 percent of counselors were found to have no training for dealing with violent situations. Almost immediately after this app was created, however, teachers showed positive responses to it and said they were willing to use the app as training tools for teaching counselors and students. According to the Women’s Media Center, Circle of 6 received tweets from teachers saying, “I would like to use this as a teaching tool.”
While Circle of 6 is a tad bit different compared to the other apps covered in the past, it certainly has a very clear practical purpose. Before violent or dangerous events break out, it could help to have this installed so the situation can be handled without unnecessary panic or hassle.