In partnership with the Prevention Innovations Research Center and STEM Discovery Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and the NH SART Project at the Attorney General’s Office; Granite State College recently introduced a free smartphone app to its students, uSafeNH. Now available at 21 colleges and universities across the state, the uSafeNH app helps prevent sexual assault and provides access to immediate assistance and resources for victims and their allies.
iPhone and Android users can download the app free of charge by going to the App Store or Google Play and searching for uSafeNH. Features of the app include campus and user-specific frequently asked questions, along with a comprehensive list of specific campus, local, state, and national resources pertinent to sexual assault. uSafeNH is geo-spatially configured so that victims and their supporters are able to access support information in their immediate vicinity. There is also a section that provides step-by-step options and information regarding forensic exams, decisions to report, and ongoing support following an assault. The information available on uSafeNH is tailored to seven different categories of users: victims, friends, supportive partners, family members, faculty/staff, off-campus community members, and prospective students.
There is also a feature on the app called “Expect Me.” Users who are walking home from class or the library late night, or have lost their friends at a party, can enter in the number of minutes to get to their destination and a friend or roommates’ number, in other words, someone who is expecting them in a certain amount of time. If the user is late or does not arrive in the stated amount of time the app will automatically call their contact person.
The development of the app was underwritten by PIRC until earlier this year when Jane Stapleton, PIRC executive director of practice, delivered a winning pitch and earned a $25,000 prize from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurs’ Fund to complete development and testing of the app. More information on PIRC and uSafeNH.