Apps to Prevent Sexual Assaults and Domestic Abuses

  • One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.[1]
  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.[2]
  • One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.[3]
  • One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.[4]

The statistics are overwhelming; and it’s clear that preventing and reporting abuse and assault needs to be a conversation that starts early and often.  Women, men and youth are facing this critical problem without knowing where to go for help, how to prevent it from happening, and learning warning signs to pay attention to.  The apps below are helping to create awareness and prevention of domestic abuse and assault.  Share these apps with your friends, family, and young loved ones.  It’s never too early to teach that abuse is never ok.


One Love DAOne Love Foundation

The One Love Foundation was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Reynolds Love, a victim of domestic abuse.  According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relationship violence affects more than one in every three women in the United States.  In response to these staggering numbers, the foundation recently released the One Love Lite app, which is both free and anonymous.  The One Love Foundation partnered with The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing for the app’s creation. This app is targeted to 16 to 26 year olds (a high-risk group) to help the user determine whether they are in a dangerous, abusive relationship with a series of question prompts such as “Has he ever tried to choke you?” “Does he own a gun?”.  Based on the answer to the “danger-assessment” questions, the participants receive a threat-level score along with a list of resources and help hotlines to call. To date, the app, which was unveiled last September, has had more than 26,000 hits.


OnWatch  On Watch

OnWatch won the Department of Health and Human Services Apps Against Abuse ChallengeOnWatch was designed to help keep people safe by providing the user  with the tools to inform the people they trust most when they need help.  There are six customizable alert modes, that will allow you to contact your friends, school police, 911 as well as send your GPS address out.  The app is $39.99 per year (current reduced rate) and you can gift it to those you care about through the iTunes store.


Circle of 6    Circle of Six

The Circle of 6 App is free way to connect with your friends, to stay safe, and prevent violence before it happens.  After downloading the app, each user programs six friends’ phone numbers into their “circle.” You should pick friends who you trust and that keep their phones charged and on at night, respond to texts in a timely fashion, and have access to transportation.

Any user can activate the app and choose one of the four icons — a car, phone, chat, and emergency icon — to send to the members of their circle. The car icon sends a “pick me up” message alongside a GPS map with your location, the phone icon sends a “need an interruption, please call me” message, the chat icon lets the circle know you’re not in danger but would like friends to keep track of you, and the emergency button calls a pre-programmed national hotline or local number (for example, the area police or campus safety office) customized by the user. The app flashes a “message received” notification when help is on the way.

Take the pledge: “I won’t let violence happen in my circle.

Learn more about apps created to empower young adults to prevent abuse and violence here.

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Stephanie Grocott

I am a skilled event planner and researcher. In my role as Project Specialist, I plan national conferences, manage virtual training events, conduct research, and work on development initiatives for projects such as the MLK Day of Service and Social Innovation Fund. Read more.

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