Have you ever been in a situation where something just doesn’t feel right, but you can’t exactly place your finger on the reason why? We’ve all been there, someone is giving you the wrong vibes and there is something unsettling about they way they look at you. In some cases it may be all in your head, but your instincts are very important and should not be pushed aside. Too many people are victims of violent crime every year, but with the technology we have at our disposal, we can better our chances of survival, escape, and justice. With the onset commonality of smartphones, these apps can help you get out of a sketchy situation, and bring the deviants to justice. You don’t necessarily need to be under attack to use these apps, they could help you if you get lost or just need to contact someone for general, non-emergency assistance. Many of these apps were developed to reduce sexual assault on university campuses, but can benefit anyone!
If you need to make a quick escape, try out Uber. Uber is a simplified taxi service app that allows easy access to rides with very few keystrokes. It has built in payment and review systems, to allow for easy billing and finding drivers you can trust. There’s even a feature that allows you to split cab fare with another Uber user at the touch of a button.
2. Circle of Six
This app was intended for college students who were often finding themselves walking alone at night. So how does it work you ask? You add six of your closest emergency contacts to a list and at the simple double tap of a button, a prewritten message will be sent to your six contacts. If you are in a crisis and you call one person, they may not be near their phone or they may be busy. In this case, six people will know of your situation. There is even an icon you can press that will text a link to a Google map of your location!
Hollaback has created a community of sorts with their application. It was conceived under the idea that street harassment is a gateway crime that leads to more serious assaults. If you see someone harassing another person, you can write an entry log and take a video or photo of the perpetrator. The information is then shared with a live map that alerts other Hollaback users of the nearby situation, thus spreading the knowledge and creating a type of digital neighborhood watch.
Guardly is a bit of a hybrid of the previous two apps, combining location services and message alerts. With a few quick taps in the face of danger, users enable a real-time tracking system so anyone who is allowed access can view where exactly the user is. In addition, if you’re the one in peril, you can access a map of nearby friends and family. Another feature allows the user to trigger a blaring alarm that will draw attention to the attack and possibly deter the attacker’s proceedings.
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David Hook is a writer and recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He loves to blog about personal safety and criminal defense on behalf of Carroll Troberman Law in Austin, TX.