5 apps you can use to report rape


1. I've-Been-Violated

This app promises to make the reporting of rape and assault easier by creating an interface that encourages you to create a video log detailing what happened as soon as it happens, so that when you are ready to report the incident you can refer to the video.

How it works/ how to use it:

• Try to get to a safe location before starting the app.
• Open the app and it will prompt you to say what happened while recording video and audio.
• An encrypted video will then be created and for you to give to the authorities. It does not automatically send, and is not available within the app.

What it looks like:

I've been violated screenshot.


One possible problem: What if the perpetrator takes your phone, or your phone gets damaged in the attack and the recording can’t be used?

If there was a way for it to record discreetly and automatically and save the information to a cloud, it might solve the problem.

Read: What to do after rape

2. Circle of 6:

This free app is aimed at preventing sexual violence by quickly connecting users in potentially dangerous situations with friends and safety resources. Circle of 6 has 100,000 users in 32 countries.

How it works: 

What it looks like:

Sexual abuse reporting app

One possible problem: You need airtime/data to use this app, as well as cell mast coverage, which is a barrier to millions of South Africans. 

Read: Recurring nightmares: Recovery after rape

3. First Response Oxford:

Women coded this app at Oxford University in the UK after collaboration among students, the University and professionals from the Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre.

How it works:
This piece of innovative software’s interface connects victims of sexual assault to relevant options – from calling the police to getting medical attention. It also provides information about ways to respond to a sexual assault and essential knowledge about support resources, including the definition of consent. 

What it looks like: 

first response screenshot 2

One possible problem: Much of the information stored on this app in terms of resources and procedures is geared towards the UK, offering the choice of location-specific services that will not be accessible to South Africans. 

Read: New research may reveal the true extent of statutory rape in SA

4. PanicGuard:

This app is an "all-in-one" of the other ones listed. You can push a button for help and record the attack, and it also has a simple interface that allows registering and listing of emergency contacts. 

How it works: 

What it looks like: 

panic guard screenshot

One possible problem: When the app is shaken, it alerts your emergency contacts. This means that ordinary movements like walking can unintentionally set it off. 

Read: Rape fuelling teen pregnancies

Disclaimer: there is no guarantee that the video recorded would be admissible in court. 
All apps listed are for android and iPhone that are free to download and available in South Africa 

5. mySOS: 

In the event of an emergency this app offers users information about who to call ; uses location services to let their contacts know where they are and that they need assistance. 

How it works: 

How it looks:

mysos screenshot

One possible problem: The interface is a bit tricky. When you launch the app a countdown starts and unless you stop it will alert authorities; this is good on one hand because it will elicit a fast response but doesn’t give you a lot of time to rectify a clumsy fingered mistake.

For people without a smartphone or don’t enjoy apps : Rape Crisis’ 24 hour crisis line number: 021 447 9762. 


Breaking the silence after sexual abuse

How do you report rape when the police don't take you seriously?

South African men believe they are entitled to rape

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