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There's an app for that.

Feeling in danger or unsafe? Notify your friends and family with a push of a button.

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4 13

Written by DeletedUser

Last weekend, I attended a Startup Weekend focused on Black Male Achievement. The provocative question asked of the teams is if an app could have saved Trayvon Martin. The winning team created an app called Help Circle which was designed to notify a circle of your friends and family if you felt that you were in danger. I was not able to find a link to this app online because it was minimal viable product that was just put together last weekend, but I did find a couple of similar applications.

Circle of 6 is an app designed to keep college women safe by having 6 friends that they contact directly for a ride or advice.

Safe Circle is an android app created by the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence. This app is like a date diary that you can use to send updates to a select group of friends while you are on your date.


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Photo of Meena Kadri

Awesome question raised by your Startup group, Michelle. As we yea towards the Ideas phase, it'll be great to take inspiration from posts like yours – and consider how solutions could be delivered on non-smartphones or in analogue formats.

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Thanks for the tip, Meena! I have made the change. Do you have a tip for making the link open on a separate tab so it doesn't disrupt the user experience?

You raise a good point about thinking about analog and 'dumb' mobile solutions. I do think it is important not to exclude smart phone ideas based on the assumption that smart phones are not affordable to low-income women. Smart phone penetration is growing rapidly among all socio-economic groups and for many low-income people smart phones are selected over other technology as a gateway to the internet because it is a more affordable option.

Photo of Marina Okulova

I think this is a great idea, to have something that can notify people of your location at a push of a button. I wonder whether this could be used in a different format that is easy to use for someone in low-income areas? Might there be a way to use a less conspicious object to house the GPS based notifier - for example a pendant on a necklace, an earring or a ring, that a woman could wear and easily reach in a situation of need? There is a number of benefits to that: firstly, nobody apart from the woman can tell there is a "panic button' on her and hence it cannot be taken off her to prevent her from signalling. Secondly, it makes it easier to reach to the "button" as you do not need to reach into a pocket to get the device. From my personal experience, I know that one might completely freeze up in a situation of danger and forget to use anything.

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Hi Marina,

I am intrigued by your idea. It is similar to a discussion that we are having on another thread. Come on over to Blow the whistle and check out the comments.