HHS Announces Apps Against Abuse Winners

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Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius named the winners of the Apps Against Abuse Challenge that called on civic developers to create a mobile applications that helps prevent dating violence and abuse.

“These winning applications will help young Americans become more empowered to prevent dating violence and sexual assault,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Whether quickly checking in with your friends or sending critical information to your support networks, these innovative tools have the potential to protect and save lives.”

The winners, Circle of 6 and OnWatch, were chosen from more than 30 entries.

About the winning apps:

Circle of 6 is an iPhone app that 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.

OnWatch 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.

“We wish to celebrate all of the participants as they are part of a growing movement that is fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to tackle our nation’s challenges – including campus violence,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. “They give me great hope that we will invent our way towards a safer society.”

The apps will be available for free public download at the beginning of 2012. The applications will be further highlighted on hhs.gov/open once they become available.

Vice President Joe Biden praised the contest during a conference call today with university officials from across the country, encouraging them to make students on their campuses aware of the applications when they come available.

“With these applications, a personal electronic device becomes a powerful tool to help young women and men protect themselves, and their friends, from becoming victims of violence,” said Vice President Biden, who encouraged college and university leaders to make students on their campuses aware of the applications when they become available for download. “Thanks to the creativity and vision of these developers, young men and women now have a new line of defense against violence.”

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Aneesh Chopra, Apps Against Abuse, challenges, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Facebook, Government IT News, Innovation, iPhone, Joe Biden, Kathleen Sebelius
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