As a survivor of incest and ritual abuse (cults), I always wanted to be saved while I was being abused. But how could I tell anyone when my life was being threatened? I was too afraid to speak aloud (they said they’d kill me if I talked). The one time I phoned a crisis line, I whispered, and it was a fast conversation. But there’s a free app now –Circle of 6–that *might* have helped me–and that I think could help a lot of children, teens, and adult women (or men) in danger, especially from something like date or stranger rape, or assault. (I think it’s harder when it’s your parents abusing you.) This app sends a text message to six friends that you pre-arrange to be your safety people, letting them know your exact location (through GPS). Depending on what you’ve decided ahead of time, this could get your friends to come pick you up, or call you to interrupt an uneasy situation or to check in on you.
There is also another app, Bipper, and Bipper For Kids, that does a similar thing.
I think these apps may help protect a lot of women and kids in danger, and help to save lives (and prevent trauma). They are also being used by people with Alzheimer’s, and even people going on long hikes or rides by themselves. Of course, you have to choose your safety people carefully. But if you have people you trust, this can help a lot.
I wish I’d had this app when I was a child and teen–though since I didn’t have anyone safe around me (cults make sure that doesn’t happen), it wouldn’t really have helped. But I can see it helping a lot of people today. The characters in my books could sure use these apps. And many of the teens who write me could have, to.
If you think these apps are useful, I hope you’ll let your friends know. We need everything we can use to help ourselves and others be safe.
Update: It looks like neither app is available for Android phones–which is what I have. BUT there are some other women’s safety Android apps. A list of safety apps for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry is here.
Some safety Android apps:
bSafe (for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry) Sends an emergency message to your chosen contacts via text with your GPS location, and one contact will call you. You can also program a fake call to you to interrupt an uneasy situation.
Guardly (for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry). Fast way to connect to your family, friends, and 911 if you’re in danger, and help them reach and locate you. You can specify exactly what the emergency is, such as “peanut allergy,” “walking home alone,” “stroke.” (Though for some reason this version isn’t compatible with either my Android phone or my tablet.) There are both a free and a paid version–the paid version connects you up to 911. (I personally think this service should be free–but I didn’t create the app.)
I Am Safe which notifies your location to your partner or parent.