“I feel scared to walk alone in the city. At times absolutely terrified or nervous. May be I am paranoid, or too cautious. The city is not safe for women these days”, says 17 year old.
She lives in Chicago and every evening she walks with “911” punched in her keypad, hovering over the “send” button. And depending on how safe the surroundings are, she prepares her defense – a portable pepper spray, or call to mom.
The fear is predictable. World is not safe. And if you are a women, it gets even worse.
And the fear she was talking about is our concern too. Mom, sister or girlfriend – we do have people to worry about!
The #YesAllWomen campaign on twitter is just a reminder of how unsafe women are; abuse, rape, violence still prevalent in almost all parts of the world.
“Sharing knowledge is the best way to offer a helping hand to affected people around the world”
I intend to do exactly the same by reaching you!!
I believe, last one and half decades we have seen more innovations than ever. Technology is advancing faster and so do our ability to dream. We have been figuring out the ways to get connected. Say it all; blogging, liking, tweeting, sharing, creating and consuming content. All of these are good, but personal safety in particular has always been an afterthought.
Personal safety – An afterthought!
Seriously, you wouldn’t be much worried about personal safety otherwise.
To help yourself; Here’s a list of 5 safety apps every women should have
If you are in trouble while moving, you can have any of these personal safety apps on your phone. It can reduce risk and bring assistance when you are in need of it. Most of these apps were originally developed to help students out of sexual assault, eventually they turned out to be a real life saver for all women.
1. Circle of 6
Image Courtesy: Circle of 6
Available as free version on iPhone
This is a must-have app, if you are an iPhone user. Circle of 6 offers an easy to use system to alert your friends, when you are threatened by someone or in trouble. To get the full benefits of this app, you can subscribe to a monthly or yearly plan.
Benefits – unobtrusive screen allows easy operation; two taps will send a text message out of the three prefixed ones to 6 contacts of your choice, which includes a call too.
It automatically attaches an address and a map of your current location for getting help to take you home safely or request for a phone call from your phone to help you out from trouble.
Circle of 6 also contains pre-programmed national helpline numbers in addition to a local contact, which you can customize to police or 911. Circle of 6 is the winner of “Apps against Abuse” challenge conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Image Courtesy: Hollaback
Available for free on iPhone and Android
The tag line of this app is “You have the power to end street harassment”. A hit back at the perpetrators, one at a time. It allows the user to take and upload a photo of the harasser, they can submit their story to ihollaback.org.
The image of the perpetrator will be shared and posted on street harassment prevention website. This will warn others about the areas were street harassment is prevalent.
Hollaback points out “street harassment is a gateway crime that makes other forms of gender based violence”. You can submit stories at every level from groping hands on crowded buses, catcalls from strangers.
It is estimated that 80 to 90% of women are getting harassed in public. It is something which we have to seriously think about. Hollaback is also part of an international movement, their local organizations are working in major cities over 18 countries to stop harassment.
Image Courtesy: bsafe
Available as free and subscribed versions on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry
“Never walk alone” is the slogan of bSafe. This personal safety app sends an emergency message to the contacts you have set with a single button.
The free version of this app also allows the person you designate to respond to your text message. You can assign a person to receive a call. The text message at the receiver’s side include a link to show your location via GPS. You can even program a fake incoming call with as many as 6 options to decide when the call have to be initiated (immediately, 5 sec, 15 sec, 1 min, 5 min, and 10 min)
The idea was developed and conceived by Silje Vallestad, a mom who wanted to keep her kids safe. She had knowledge about the industry, but figured it out and won a business plan competition. And the money, she took it to develop bSafe.
Image Courtesy: Guardly
Free and Subscription Versions available on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7
Guardly instantly connects with your emergency contact numbers when you are in trouble. This app is unlike most others, it initiates a phone call to contacts with details like your location and emergency type. You can assign different contacts for different kinds of emergencies – like “Walking alone” or “Met an accident”.
A profile page is also present, where you can add birth date, eye/hair color, weight, height, blood type, medical information, allergies, doctor’s name and phone number, and insurance details.
The subscription version enables the receiver to connect it as a conference call, also can text the group a link in case of emergency, so that they can locate on a map. It also include live location tracking.
Image Courtesy: cab4me
Free and Subscription Versions are available on iPhone and android.
Got lost in an unfamiliar place. Get a cab, anytime, anywhere. Cab4me is a mobile cab finder. Click cab4me app on your device, GPS position on a map will show your exact position. Pick that as approximate pickup location, choose a nearby taxi stand if it shows up (Only list of companies that are willing to pick using cab4me will show up)
Switch to call tab to get a list of local cab companies. It will show up available car types and payment procedures. If no cab company is listed, a local search will be performed to get you result, so you will always get an option. Subscription version have a trip calculator, it allows to figure out the cost involved in advance.
Share your go to personal safety apps in the comments section!!