Your Boyfriend Could See This App On Your Phone And Have No Idea What It Is. And That's The Point.

It seems like you can do absolutely anything from your phone nowadays. (That's so something my mother would say.) But really. Smartphone applications can give directions, create recipes, buy clothes ... and now, provide real-time resources and help for people in domestic violence situations. And the coolest thing about this life-saving app? It's hidden in plain sight.

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Dr Phil: After you download the Aspire app on your phone, we say it's free, it lives like a normal app would on your screen. Now we've blurred it here because we don't want to tip the abuser off to the tools that you may have. Can you take us into the app, then?

Robin: OK. So, touch the app. Here's the app's homepage. We don't want to show you the actual content on the homepage. So we have a Dr. Phil logo covering it up.

Dr Phil: I'm not going to tell you what it is because if an abuser is watching it, I don't want him to know. But it won't be the Dr. Phil app, OK?

Robin: No. But let me tell you it is disguised well. It looks like a normal app any person would use. Now I'm going to talk you inside the app's features. Now once you've pressed the help section, you're ready to set up your app and learn about all of its features. First, it is extremely important to always have your phone location service on. Many of the functions of this app will need it. For example, in the Get Help section, you can use your location to find the nearest shelters and resources closest to you.

Dr Phil: This is also where you set up your trusted contacts and pre-typed message or pre-recorded audio message that you will send when you get in distress. And by pre-typed I just mean, before you're in crisis, you let people know to watch for this if it's coming. And the audio message can be sent directly to 911. You can pick different places or it can be your friend, or your mother, or whatever.

Robin: Now you just go there. And in the Get Educated section, you can find helpful links and articles to help educate yourself about domestic violence. You can also find a link to the Aspire Initiative Curriculum as well. And if for any reason you need quick action to privacy, like your abuser may suddenly walk into the room and see your phone, you just press the X at the top right of the screen and it jumps to a random part of the app.

Dr Phil: Again, not the Dr. Phil logo. What it's hiding.

Robin: Yes. But the most important feature is how to activate the go button. If you were in trouble and ready to send your distress signal, you click the Go button, which is the title bar.

Dr Phil: OK. This is what we're calling the title bar.

Robin: And you click that three times.

Dr Phil: Three times. Here's what you get. "This is the time we talked about. Please come now."

Robin: And let me just say this; once you've hit the go button and you've contacted all of your pre-selected friends, family members, or whatever, it's a good idea to tell all of them to contact each other and say, "I just got the message, did you get it? Are you closer? Are you going? Let's make sure someone is getting over there."

There may be small errors in this transcript.

This clip from "Dr. Phil" features Robin McGraw, Dr. Phil's wife and founder of When Georgia Smiled. The foundation creates programs for women and children affected by domestic violence and operates the ASPIRE News App. The app is not a replacement for 911, and people should still call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for help.

Jul 18, 2014

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