Feds Announce ‘Apps Against Abuse’ Winners

The Office of the Vice President and the White House Office of Science and Technology announced the winners of the Apps Against Abuse technology challenge on Monday. “Circle of 6” and “On Watch” are prototypes of the two winning applications that were selected from a pool of over 30 entries submitted to Challenge.gov.

The contest, which was launched this summer, called on software innovators to harness the power of mobile technology to help prevent dating violence and abuse by keeping young adults connected to trusted friends and providing easy access to important resources for help, including local police and abuse hotlines. Vice President Biden encourages college and university leaders to make students on their campuses aware of the applications when they become available in 2012.

The winning applications, which are described below, will be available for free public download beginning in early 2012. The applications will be featured on www.hhs.gov/open, as soon as they become available.

Circle of 6: This iPhone app makes it quick and easy to reach your circle of supporters and let them know where you are and what you need. It takes two touches to get help. The app uses text messaging to contact your circle, uses GPS to locate you when needed, connects to reputable domestic violence organizations, and asks contacts to take a pledge on Facebook to stop violence before it happens.

On Watch: On Watch is an iPhone app that lets you transmit critical information by phone, email, text, and social media to your support network.  You can check in with friends, call 911 or campus police with two touches of a button, set countdown timers that send messages and GPS information automatically if events or activities don’t go according to plan, and connect to sexual assault, dating violence and domestic abuse hotlines.

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