But since so little is being done to ensure our safety, these apps may be our only hope. For now at least.
Women have finally come unhinged after several women and children became victims of rape and murder across SA. Over the last few weeks we have mourned the deaths of Unyinene , Jesse Hess, Leighandre' "Baby Lee" Jegels, Janiko Mello and other fallen angels.
All this tragedy in the wake of women's month, a time meant to honour, uplift and celebrate women.
The outcry which resulted in the viral hashtag on most social media platforms, #AmINext, came after a post office clerk confessed to the murder and rape of 19-year-old UCT student Unyinene Mrewtyana.
South African women have since organised prayer meetings, organised protests and even signed petitions in an effort to get the government to prioristise gender-based violence cases.
In the mean time, we need to stay safe. And as unfortunate as it is, we clearly cannot, at the moment, trust men, or even the government at this stage, to help keep us alive.
Which is why we've listed five apps that were designed to help women keep safe.
While the apps can only do so much to help women in a nation that is currently one of the least safe places for a women to be, they can assist in terms of letting loved ones know your location, getting in contact with emergency services and so on.
Here are the apps and how you can download/use them.
1. Eyewatch SOS for Women
Eyewatch SOS for Women captures audio and video of the user’s surroundings and sends it to the registered contacts along with an alert message. This app has been praised for high location accuracy, functioning without GPRS and Safety confirmation feature. On reaching the location safely the user can inform their near ones by pressing the I am Safe button. It is available on Google Play store and iTunes.
iGoSafely sends alert messages, emails and/or GPS position to emergency contacts on activation. The app keeps on sending messages, every minute unless the alarm is turned off using the secret disarm code. Along with the above mentioned information, iGoSafely sends a thirty-second audio recording captured by the phone's microphone. It can be activated by shaking the phone or simply by removing the headphone. Also available on Google Play store and iTunes.
3. My SafetyPin
If you are stuck in a crossroad, then My SafetyPin app acts as your guide in choosing the best and safest route. On entering an unsafe location, this app gives alerts and you can invite family or friends to track you. Safety of an area is measured using various parameters like public transport, visibility, security etc. My SafetyPin app is available on Google Playstore and itunes.
4. Scream Alarm
This app will generate a loud scream in a female voice at the touch of a button. Loud noises draw attention and the perpetrator will be deterred from their grievous intentions.
This app is for ensuring women’s safety by reporting criminal incidents at the earliest. If a woman is caught in a dangerous emergency or sees anyone facing a situation of peril, she can use CitizenCop to report it immediately. The app is thoughtful about women’s safety concerns and makes the job of communicating crime to the law enforcement department easy and rapid.
It is also available on both Android and iPhone.
As previously mentioned, these apps are a far cry from completely halting femicide, they could save a life, whether it's your or that of a stranger.
It is highly encouraged that you download at least one of them. Most of them are available for free.
Do you have any thoughts on having gender-based violence declared as a state of emergency? Chat to us here and tell us why.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact one of the organisations below:
Gender-based violence Command Centre: “Please call me” facility: *120*7867#
Emergency line: 0800 428 428
POWA helpline: 0116424345
Tears Foundation helpline: *134*7355# Or visit them by find the nearest offices here: tears.storefind.mobi
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