Tech, Now + Beyond

4 apps that will help keep you safe in dangerous situations

Sexual harassment doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so it's time we involved technology in our fight to keep ourselves safe!

You’re walking outside, thinking of enjoying a nice day out in the sun, maybe reading a book in the park and soaking up some vitamin D. You step out of your home and head to the park. On your way, you encounter several men who make you feel uncomfortable with their stares, cat calls, or maybe even inappropriate groping.

Sound all too familiar? Well, you’re not alone. Millions of women everyday face harassment of one kind or another.

Sometimes we fight back and teach others how to as well. But, sometimes, the fear is all too real. To combat, we’re going to tell you about a few apps that you can use to protect yourself from scary incidents.

Here are four apps that might help you feel a little safer while you go out alone or even with friends.

1. Circle of Six

 Circle of 6- screenshot

This app lets you make a list of six people, friends or family who you want to alert if things go wrong. The application has various features; you can notify friends and family within the circle about your whereabouts by sharing your GPS location. The app also allows for you to immediately contact the correct emergency hotline for when you need serious help right away.

Users of the app have said that they feel safe knowing that in a situation where they feel unsafe, someone from their family or friends is tracking their every move till they get home safe.

Erin Browne wrote for Campus Riot saying, “I can’t stress enough how much I recommend that everyone download this app. It is an awesome way to keep communication open between you and your friends and keep yourselves safe”.

2. BSafe

 bSafe - Personal Safety App- screenshot

Ever been in a situation where you feel threatened so that you cannot outright say you are uncomfortable and leave? Have you found yourself wishing you got a call from someone, anyone, so that you could make an excuse and leave right away because you felt scared? BSafe can help you do that. Bsafe has a feature which fakes a call to you so that you can make an excuse and try to get out of the dangerous situation you might be in. Other than that, you can alert people in your list of guardians about your whereabouts through a GPS locator.

Users of the app have lauded the accuracy of its GPS tracker!

Alicia K, a user of the app left a review of the app on PlayStore saying “I had some issues with a gentleman. I work outside for a gas company and a middle aged man was showing up at my work sites randomly and following me around. This has eased my family’s worries and lets them know I am safe and if I have run into needing help the alarm works quickly and notifies faster than I even thought possible.”

3. Hollaback!

 Hollaback!- screenshot

This app aims to mainly call out harassers who harass women on the street. This includes cat callers, those who make unwanted advances and launch into insults when you show no interest and those who try and grope you while you’re walking down the street. The app lets you pinpoint the exact location you were harassed on and even lets you upload an image of the incident or the person who harassed you. Sharing images of harassers will help in putting the shame and blame where it so rightly belongs; on the perpetrator of the harassment!

Suzannah Weiss wrote in a review for Bustle, “I only wish people could show this much support for victims of street harassment in real life”.

At times when harassment takes place out on the streets, women are understandably fearful of confronting the harasser in case things get ugly. With Hollaback! you have the ability to do something about the situation. It gives you a sense of empowerment; knowing you can make a difference and warn other women of whom and what areas to avoid.

4. LifeLine Response

 LifeLine Response- screenshot

This app turns your phone into a portable alarm system, once your thumb presses the center of your phone screen and leaves that position, your phone’s lights will start flashing, an alarm sound will go off which can be heard from up to two miles away and your phone’s GPS tracking will be activated and can be tracked by authorities. The application aims to deter people from following you because of the attention it attracts due to the flashing light and high pitched alarm. After a brief free trial, the service costs $4.99 a month.

“This app is best for the most at-risk situations to access authorities immediately”. Chloe Mark writes in her review for ArcStone.

The app is not just used by women but also men. The app encourages everyone to use the app since you never know when it might come handy.

As women, we constantly hear horror stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault. We are still brave enough to go out into the world and go about our business even though there are so many men out there who are bent to make things uncomfortable for us. It is time we made things just as uncomfortable for them and held men accountable for their actions.

  • Rameeza Ahmad

    Rameeza Ahmad is currently majoring in Psychology with a minor in Media Studies at Forman Christian College. Her likes include: reading, writing (surprise!), food and felines. She dislikes: the patriarchy. Always up for learning new things and seeing new perspectives.