Biden: Apps Against Abuse prevents abuse

Oct. 2, 2012 at 9:30 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- In 2011, 1-in-10 U.S. teens were physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend, but Vice President Joe Biden says new apps may prevent assaults.

"Because even one incident is too many, in September 2011, I began the 1is2many initiative," Biden said in a statement. "1is2many uses technology and outreach to get the message out and to help reduce dating violence and sexual assault among teens and young adults."

Last year, Biden, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the "Apps Against Abuse" technology challenge -- a nationwide competition to develop ways technology could help prevent dating violence and abuse.

Last November, the winners of the challenge: "Circle of 6" and "On Watch." Circle of 6 is an iPhone app that makes it easy to reach a woman's circle of supporters and let them know where she is and what she might need. It takes two touches to get help, Biden said.

The app uses text messaging to contact the friends, uses GPS to locate the woman and connects to reputable domestic violence organizations.

The second app, On Watch, is an iPhone app that lets a person transmit critical information by phone, email, text and social media. It can check in with friends, call 911 or campus police with two touches of a button. It also has countdown timers that send messages and GPS information automatically if events or activities don't go according to plan and connects to sexual assault, dating violence and domestic abuse hotlines, Biden added.

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