Smartphone Apps Help Prevent Domestic Violence

Mar 19, 2014 11:15 AM ET

Inspiring Beauty Through Caring

As spring break is full swing around the country, many high school and college students will be traveling with friends. Although spring break is meant to be a time of rest and relaxation, we’ve all heard the stories of spring break gone wrong.

Spring break could be the perfect stage for dating violence. According to Break the Cycle, the leading dating abuse prevention program exclusively to young people, one in three U.S. adolescents experiences abuse from a dating partner. About 70 percent of college students say they have been sexually coerced.

Make sure you and/or the teens in your life are prepared. Check out these two free apps that can help.

Love is Not Abuse
The Love is Not Abuse iPhone app is designed to teach parents about the dangers of teen dating abuse.  App users receive text messages, emails and phone calls in real-time mimicking the controlling, abusive behaviors teens might face in their relationships. Users will also learn the warning signs, how dating abuse manifests itself in teen relationships, what steps to take and more. Learn more at

Circle of 6
The Circle of 6 app for iPhone and Android makes it quick and easy to reach the six friends you choose before dating violence happens. Need help getting home? Need an interruption? Two touches lets you contact friends to tell them where you are and how they can help. Icons represent actions, so your potential abuser can’t tell what you’re up to. Although it’s designed for college students, it could be helpful to anyone.  It’s fast, easy-to-use and private. See more at

If you find these apps helpful or know of other apps that can help, let us know!  We love finding ways technology helps us for good.

Stacy Frye Graves is managing editor of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ blog. You can reach her at or follow her on Pinterest: