The yes all women campaign that took off on twitter recently was an important reminder about how women are, still in this day and age, being subjected to violence, domestic abuse, and rape.
The countless rape cases reported in recent years by the international media and the reactions of politicians, police authorities, victims, offenders, as well as the people who read these stories speak volumes about where we stand in the issue of personal safety for women.
At times, women seem to be on their own when it comes to fighting against rape. Thankfully though, there are a lot of personal safety apps developed to help tackle this issue.
We have here a list of 10 apps built with personal safety for women in mind, made for Android. Most of these apps are free; a few have paid premium features that may help save a life.
In any case, having these apps on a phone may be more important and helpful than having any other game of the week. No one has the time to dial an emergency number when they are in danger.
The VithU App lets a potential victim skip through the number-punching, and lets you push your power button twice to instantly send an SOS alert to contacts.
Alert messages are sent out every two minutes to listed contacts, who will receive a message along with your physical location, which will get updated each time the message goes out. Circle of 6 is a unique app that lets you connect to up to 6 close contacts.
The app has different notifications that the user can tap on to alert their circle. If you need a safe ride home or for a familiar face to turn up and take you away from a strange environment, this app will help send an alert to any of your 6 chosen contacts.
On top of that, the app can connect you to the proper authorities for an emergency, or even just for relationship advice.
Life360 is a multipurpose app to stay in touch with your family members and friends and keep a handle on their location.
The app lets you create circles, add people to them and see their locations on a confidential map.
This way you’ll be able to always keep track of your family members and confirm that they’re safe and sound. You can share your location with them, or send an alert to your circle members.
You can even chat with your circle members for free. As a bonus, you can also use this app to recover your lost or stolen phone.
Then I’m Shakti (IMS) app is one that aims to help keep you in control of your “Shakti” (power in Sanskrit).
To reach your emergency contact, press the power button 5 times (in 2 seconds) to trigger the app. A preset emergency SMS will be sent along with your GPS location.
If you are a parent who has a feisty kid, or one who has to watch over a teenage sibling who has an issue with “personal space”, this may be the locator app you need.
The app picks up your exact GPS location and shares the location with the group. Of course, the person whose location is being shared can choose when their location can be disclosed but the app also keeps track of all previous locations and will let users send an SOS message alert when necessary.
The Nirbhaya App is another app that lets the user send an SMS alert or call with a single touch in the event of an emergency.
When activated, it will send your precise GPS location to your pre-selected contacts, with exact location updates every 300 meters you move.
Other features include the Geo-Fence (which helps keep your contacts informed of your location), the ‘Shake to alert’ function, and you can use the power button to send out a distress signal. Watch Over Me is an app that lets your contacts follow you on your journey remotely.
The app lets you specify how long you want it to track your GPS location until you check-in from your intended destination.
If you fail to do so, it sends an emergency alert to your chosen contacts. Alternatively, in case something bad happens, you can shake your phone to trigger an emergency alert, and your phone’s camera will turn on automatically and start recording.
The app also informs you if you’ve entered a high crime rate area. It is available in 7 cities, for now. The Sentinel Personal security app claims to be the fastest SOS app available in the current market.
It lets you send SMS and email alerts, as well as call your emergency contacts when the need arises. The SMS alert will contain your GPS location, time, and direction of travel. It works even without a working Internet connection or network, which could make the difference between life and death.
If you stay alone in a place, far from close friends or family, this may be a good alternative app.
The Secure Her works by sending out a distress signal as soon as the phone owner double taps on the app’s icon on her phone. Then, a call center will respond to the distress signal to make sure that help reaches the user.
Currently, this app is only functional in India, but there are plans to make it available to other parts of the world as well.
This app allows you to take pictures (as evidence), and quickly send info as well as your current location, to your pre-determined emergency contact.
That way, depending on the situation, action can be taken immediately. In addition, there’s also a ‘Walk With Me’ function that lets your selected contacts follow your travels to keep track of your whereabouts.
Plus it provides a list of hospitals and police stations that are nearest to you. This app is currently only available for users in India.
Sometimes it is not just the woman who requires personal safety, she always thinks about her family members, particularly little ones who may not be as knowledgeable about how unsafe the world is these days.
In cases where you want to be able to watch over your whole family, here are 3 more apps you can try out for your family, as a family.
Here’s a personal safety app that works on a slightly different concept. Instead of requiring a smartphone, you can stay safe with a special smart band that works with this app.
Put on the band on your wrist, and when you find yourself in an emergency, just click on the button on the band twice to send out a distress signal to your guardian network.
Your signal will be updated every 2 minutes. The app can track up to 5 users, which makes it great for families who want to keep track of each other. This one works with a Sprint mobile number under the Sprint Family plan.
The good news is it works on both smartphones and regular phones, and you don’t have to install any app on the phones you want to track.
This locator app lets you check in on your family members on a map, in real-time. You will receive a text notification when they are not where they told you they should be. You can even track down your lost or stolen phone via this app.
It has a 15-day free trial, after which it will cost you $5/mth.