Day 6: Circle of 6, United States
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that one in five college women will be the victim of rape or sexual assault. In response to this staggering statistic, a small team of innovative activists created Circle of 6, a free smartphone app that enables users to reach a group of six trusted friends for help with the touch of a button.
Nancy Schwartzman is one of the creators of the Circle of 6 app and the executive director of The Line Campaign, a non-profit organization and movement that is committed to empowering young leaders to create a world without sexual violence. According to Nancy, the team developed the Circle of 6 app to prevent sexual and domestic violence before it happens, by harnessing the power of social relationships using simple SMS and GPS technology.
The app was one of the winners of the White House’s 2012 Apps Against Abuse technology challenge and has approximately 50,000 downloads to date. Nancy’s previous work with The Line Campaign helped shape the harm reduction strategy, language, and tone of the Circle of 6. Nancy explained that The Line Campaign, “addresses issues of consent and sexual assault, but is framed from an empowering perspective, where open communication and lack of judgment is key.” This message of empowerment is at the core of Circle of 6, and is a hallmark of the product and campaign.
The Circle of 6 team relied heavily on communications to get the word out about the app, including viral video campaigns, mainstream media, and a tool kit for educators in schools across America to use in classrooms when discussing dating violence. Congratulations to Nancy and the Circle of 6 team for leveraging technology and communications to help prevent violence against women.