With high levels of gender-based harassment, abuse and violence in South African society, women need to go to extraordinary lengths to keep themselves safe as they lead their daily lives. Technology isn’t a silver bullet for the horrific levels of gender-based violence in our society, but apps and smartphones offer another tool that women can use to protect themselves.
Alcatel looks at some of the personal safety apps and resources available on Android smartphones and other digital platforms:
BSafe is a personal safety app with features such as a touch- or voice-activated SOS alarm; live streaming of your GPS location, camera and audio feed when the alarm is active, so guardians can find you if you’re in trouble; fake calls to interrupt unpleasant or threatening situations; and Follow Me live GPS tracking.
Accessed via Facebook Messenger, rAInbow democratises access to information and support for victims of domestic violence, their friends and their family. It provides a safe space for those at risk of entering controlling relationships, including victims and survivors of domestic violence, to access information about their rights, support options and where they can find help – in friendly, simple language.
3. MYSOS SA
MySOS Emergency app offers you access to emergency assistance when you don’t know who to call, you don’t know where you are, you want to notify your SOS contacts about your emergency and the exact SOS location, or you want to navigate services directly to your location in an emergency. The Near Me feature offers you access to contact details and addresses for doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, vets, and police stations in South Africa, while Track Me can be used to track any journey in South Africa.
This mobile safety solution allows South Africans to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and connected and get the best emergency assistance straight to their location when needed. You and your loved ones can share locations via GPS to keep each other safe and receive smart alerts when you or they travel. In addition to these free features, there is an optional monthly subscription service called Namola Plus. It lets you alert armed response or private emergency medical services in a crisis.
5. Eyewatch SOS for Women
When you feel threatened, you can use Eyewatch to send your location, and audio and video signature to your protectors. They can check your location, audio, and video, and come to help you if necessary.
This app turns your phone into a panic button. Simply shake your phone to alert your friends, family, and security company to help you at your exact location. There is an optional service in South Africa to get help from the nearest PSIRA-registered armed responder on the Aura network.