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Apps Help Fight Sexual Violence | News

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Apps Help Fight Sexual Violence

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of sexual assault and dating violence.

One in five women in college will be a victim. That's why last year, a nation-wide challenged developers to create phone apps that could help lower that statistic.

Circle of 6 and Watch Me 911 are winners of the White House-sponsored Apps Against Abuse technology challenge. At a few taps of the screen, they connect you with a group of trusted friends and family to let them know where you are and if you need help.

They can also connect you with 911 or victims advocacy groups like Crisis Line and Safe House. Sexual assault advocacy program director Dottie Stafford says a phone app might not be the magic solution for dangerous situations, but it's an additional tool that can help.

"Having an app ready on your phone that you can just hit a button on if something happens, can help give you a little more of a sense of safety because you know if something happens, you have people who can respond quickly."

Macon State student Chelsea Rutherford says she uses a similar app for android phones called Life 360, and it has a map feature.

"You can see hospitals, police stations, fire departments," said Rutherford. "This right here is the sex offender tab. You click on it, it gives the date of birth, the picture, their description."

She says she uses it to let her family know when she arrives safely on longer trips.

"It makes it so much easier because you don't have to individually call and send messages to everyone it does it automatically to everyone on your list," said Rutherford.

"There's no way to make someone 100 percent invulnerable to something like this happening but it's all about the more tools you can add to keep your self safe," said Stafford.


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