by Caitlin Boos
One of the greatest disorders in today's society is the relative inability for women to walk home alone in the dark without bearing the burdens of primal fear and debilitating panic. Due to the terrifyingly lengthy list of motivations men have to assault, torture, kidnap and murder us, it's a well-known rule amongst girls that traversing lowly-lit areas by your lonesome is a no-go and should be avoided at all costs.
However, on certain occasions, this treacherous journey is inevitable; unavoidable, be it because you're in the middle of nowhere and can't find public transit, or because you're strapped for cash and can't afford a ride service. While neither of these scenarios is remotely ideal, they are incredibly common. Therefore, it is vital to have the ability to navigate your way back to a safe, central location after night has fallen. Here are a handful of apps that can equip you with the tools and techniques to ensure your safety in the dreaded case you must complete this anxiety-inducing feat.
To help you plan the safest trip. (Safetipin- https://safetipin.com/services/)
Safetipin presents a detailed network of every street in your near vicinity and precisely how safe they are based on previous ratings from fellow users. Each location is studied regarding its lighting, openness and visibility, and whether or not people and security are easily found around. The area's access to clear paths and public transport is also considered while women's travel frequency along given streets is remarked on. Like many GPS apps, Safetipin provides the locations of nearby establishments, but unlike most, when asked to plan a route automatically, the app sends you the safest one to your destination.
To have your loved ones watch you as you go. (bSafe- https://getbsafe.com/features/)
With bSafe, close friends and family members can be invited along on your journey through the app via its "Follow Me" feature. Simply select which loved ones you'd feel most contented with following you, and they'll be subsequently notified of your request and sent your location immediately. Feel reassured knowing there's a trusted set of attentive eyes on you devoted to ensuring you arrive at your desired destination in a safe and orderly manner! Additionally, offered by bSafe is the "SOS button," which allows your loved ones automatic access to everything you are seeing and hearing as well, through your cell phone's recorded audio and video.
To avoid and report sexual harassment. (Hollaback!- https://www.ihollaback.org/take-action/get-app/)
Objectively the most daunting aspect of walking anywhere as a woman is the unfortunate likelihood of encountering sexual harassment, but with Hollaback, you can try and circumvent these distressing experiences as best you can. Upon opening the app, a map will appear, depicting all of the streets around you and where reports of abuse, lewd comments, obscene gestures, and similar inappropriate behaviors have been logged in the past. Though we attempt seemingly everything to avoid these kinds of incidents, if you do witness or experience sexual misconduct, the app allows you to record the harassment at once. All of your reports are charted on a separate, personal map that you can refer back to for your well-being.
To quickly inform your loved ones if you're in danger. (Guardly- https://appsagainstabuse.devpost.com/submissions/4899-guardly)
If, at any point, during your walk, you feel threatened, accosted, or preyed upon, tap the Guardly app to immediately send out an emergency alert to everyone you have included within your "safety network." Those you have previously established on the app as your most trusted contacts will receive your exact location, as well as a phone call recounting where you are and presenting the option to connect with you on a conference call. They will then be given access to an emergency response website via text, wherein you can send photos of your whereabouts and further details on your location.
To give you immediate access to emergency services. (UrSafe- https://ursafe.com/media-kit)
Though we seldom want to entertain the possibility, we may encounter a nefarious individual or experience an unsavory event while we are on our way home. Hence, it is vital to be as prepared as can be. UrSafe offers a hands-free SOS feature that, upon activation, instantly begins streaming your circumstances to the nearest authorities. Wherever you are in the world, local responders will be notified of your exact location and made aware that you are in a dangerous situation without you needing to disclose such information. Hopefully, this feature is never direly required and, instead, remains a soothing safety measure solely to have on hand.
Though we frankly shouldn't have to fear for our lives every time we make a late-night trek through town, society has unfortunately forced our hands. While there is no definitive way to prevent repulsive, abhorrent misogynists from acting like the insufferable, entitled creatures they are, hopefully, these apps will grant you some peace of mind the next time you have to head home on your lonesome. Stay safe out there, ladies!
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