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Aspire News is not actually a news reader, instead it’s a cleverly disguised app for helping those trapped in abusive relationships. It allows users to quickly shoot off an emergency message to trusted loved ones, if the need ever arises, and is packed with resources helps those in need when they need it most.

Created by the When Georgia Smiled foundation (which is run by Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin McGraw) Aspire News is available as a free download for Android and iPhone.

Fake Reading The News

Aspire News is designed to fool anyone peeking over your shoulder or snooping around your phone that this is just another news app, and does a pretty convincing job.

At any time, you can tap three times on the top part of the app to send off an emergency message to your trusted contacts, which we’ll show you how to set up later. This simple step gives survivors a way to alert trusted loved ones in the event that they really need help at that point in time.

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While anyone in serious immediate danger should still call the emergency services, Aspire News can offer another alternative for when that is not possible.

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Having an emergency contact app that is undetectable could be incredibly helpful to someone in a relationship where they don’t feel completely safe. Domestic violence is complicated, and having a lifeline such as this could provide some peace of mind to survivors, and access to information they might not otherwise be able to get. Since domestic violence survivors often have their online activities tracked by their abuser, the hidden nature of the app is crucial.

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Once you get past the newsy facade, the Help section reveals the true purpose of the app, which is accessed by tapping the three-line icon in the upper left. Here, you’re able to set up emergency contacts, access articles on domestic violence, and contact domestic violence prevention organizations who can offer real help.

I found the app a little slow in my usage, but that’s entirely beside the point here. The beauty of this app is that it understands that survivors can’t always look for help and resources out in the open, and it recognizes that hiding these options behind a news app can mean the world to those living in fear.

Setting Up Emergency Contacts

Under the Get Help section, you have the option to add trusted contacts. This is a list of people who will be alerted if you ever send out a distress signal from the app, which as mentioned previously, can be done from any place in the app by tapping the top bar three times. You can prepare your distress message under the Trusted Contacts section, and you can decide if you want to send your location with it or not.

The developers recommend that you talk to your trusted contacts before sending any messages so that they know what to look out for in case of an emergency. Below Trusted Contacts, you have the option to view helpful resources in case you want to reach out to an actual organization.

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Under Help Resources, the app has links to the websites of 17 different sexual assault or domestic violence prevention organizations. Clicking on any of the titles will take you to that organization’s website within a browser built in to the app, which is smart because then the browsing history of your default browser cannot be tracked to find these websites. You can also tap the phone icon to the right to call the help center of that organization.

Some of the most notable resources here include the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Battered Women’s Justice Project, and the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. You can visit When Georgia Smiled’s website for even more resources.

You can also check out Verizon’s HopeLine app Verizon Supports Fight Against Domestic Violence With Free Android App [Updates] Verizon Supports Fight Against Domestic Violence With Free Android App [Updates] Verizon has launched a free HopeLine app for Android that enables people to connect to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (a 24 hour support service) and access vital information that may help to keep the... Read More for connecting survivors to valuable resources.

Learn About The Cause And What You Can Do

Under the Help section, there is also a Get Educated section which opens up a familiar-looking news interface, but this time with real articles about domestic violence. At any time, you can tap on the X in the upper right to quit out of this section and go back to the Top News section, in case you feel someone looking over your shoulder. Again, this app continues to look out for those who don’t have the freedom of perusing whatever they want without worrying about who’s watching.

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The articles, all ten of them, are pretty old blog posts from Dr. Phil’s blog. It’s disappointing not to see more recent works from a variety of sources here, but they are still useful posts. As easy as it is for a person to spy on their significant other The Dangers of iPhone Spy Software & How To Detect It The Dangers of iPhone Spy Software & How To Detect It Considering spying on an iPhone? Think you've got a compromised device? Here's what you need to know. Read More , having a less easily trackable information here is a big plus.

There are some areas that could be improved here (such as the inclusion of full news stories) but on the whole this app accomplishes its goal of providing domestic violence survivors with access to information and a discreet method of contacting loved ones in an emergency. It’s rare that we see an app that has such a direct and positive effect on people’s lives.

You Can Get Help, And You Can Get Through This

For survivors of any type of abuse, it is important to remember that you are not at fault, and you can get help. Never lose hope that things can get better. Any readers who want to help out can donate their phone Recycle For A Cause: 5 Ways You Can Donate Your Old Cellphone & Help Make The World A Better Place Recycle For A Cause: 5 Ways You Can Donate Your Old Cellphone & Help Make The World A Better Place We can help by donating our old cellphones (and other electronics), so that the recycling industry can reclaim some more percentage from the precious metals that gets mined. But that is not the only way... Read More to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence so that they can recycle it to help survivors stay connected to important resources, stay away from their abusers, and protect their children.

Download: Aspire News for Android / Aspire News for iPhone (free)

What do you think of Aspire News? Any other resources you might recommend for those stuck in abusive relationships? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Ashely
    November 30, 2016 at 2:32 am

    […]robinso.buckler@yahoo .com: Helped to bring My Ex-Husband back with his spiritual power[…]

  2. Erin Brownlee-Fletcher
    July 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Great App!!! But it doesn't have enough information out there on it like first how long does it record for when the go button is activated. Second how can u un initiate it if u don't want it recording anymore? And third where does the recorded information get stored on your phone so you could play it for authorities. I mean I'm worried once it initiates how long does it record what is going on? There is no information on really how the app is used except to tell a person how to activate it.

  3. Charlene F
    May 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Brilliant app! The only danger is if the abuser figures out what it really is once it becomes more widely known. But if they create more apps like this or change the name/icon every so often it could be good.

    • Justin D
      May 28, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing. What if the abuser knows of Aspire News? I guess it's a double-edged sword: the more we spread this app, the more domestic violence survivors will hear about it, but I guess so will more abusers.

      My only hope here is that survivors will be looking for something like this. They'll maybe have it recommended to them by a friend, or they'll search for some kind of help on the Internet. Whereas abusers probably wouldn't bother reading or talking about anything like this.

      Still, changing the name/icon every so often is a great idea. :) better yet, I think it would be smart to have it mimic a real-world app (if they could partner with an official app to do that). That way it would look like you're using a specific app, say like Facebook or something, which wouldn't draw any attention from an abuser, but in actuality you're using an Aspire-like app disguised as Facebook.

      I don't know, just some thoughts. :) Thanks for your input!

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