LiveSafe brings new safety measures to military

Sexual assault isn’t just an issue in the world at large; it also happens to be a major problem in military bases, with the Department of Defense reporting that there were over 6,000 reports of sexual assault in fiscal year 2015. But a new smartphone application may help bring new safety measures to the military — and help decrease sexual assaults.

According to Glamour, a free app called LiveSafe is in the midst of a six-month trial at two naval bases, one in Hampton Roads, Va. and one at the Rota Naval Base in Spain. Allowing members of the Navy to track their friends’ locations, the app can also help users “report anything suspicious they see, and access location-specific resources for crime victims, like legal and medical services,” says Glamour.

Currently in a testing phase, Glamour reports that focus groups will determine whether or not the app was effective in preventing or even addressing cases of sexual assault. With Glamour reporting that $150,000 has already gone into the app’s creation and testing, some in the military are already convinced that the app is valuable.

“When you think about what it costs to respond to one sexual assault — you think about providing medical services, doing the investigation, doing the legal processing, providing all the victim advocacy services, the amount of time the chain of command spends in reviewing and overseeing these cases and then executing the potential disciplinary action — that one case is significantly more than the cost for the pilot,” U.S. Fleet Forces Command sexual assault prevention and response officer Capt. Charles Marks told Tribune News Serviceaccording to Glamour.

Although there is no word yet on whether or not the app will be officially implemented, all signs seem to be pointing to the affirmative.

To read more about the app, click here.


App ensures you ‘never eat lunch alone’

When Natalie Hampton was in middle school, she ate lunch alone for the entire year — but the Huffington Post says the current high school junior took action to make sure fellow students never feel isolated.

Now 16 years old, Hampton created the “Sit With Us” app, which “helps students who have difficulty finding a place to sit locate a welcoming group in the lunchroom,” reports the Huffington Post.

After eating alone left her feeling vulnerable and susceptible to bullying, Hampton designed the app so students can identify themselves as “ambassadors,” or those who are inviting others to join their lunch, says the Huffington Post. “Ambassadors can then post ‘open lunch’ events,” HuffPost reports, “which signal to anyone seeking company that they’re invited to join the ambassadors’ table.

Hampton explained how the app can help reduce the chances of students being rejected in the lunchroom to Audie Cornish on NPR’s “All Things Considered, reports the Huffington Post:

“This way it’s very private. It’s through the phone. No one else has to know,” she said. “And you know that you’re not going to be rejected once you get to the table.”

Launched on Sept. 9, the Huffington Post says Hampton told Cornish that the app has already received positive feedback.

“People are already posting open lunches at my school,” she told the program. “So I’m very excited that things are already kicking off with a great start.”