10 Best Tech Devices to Prevent Rape
10 wearable devices to prevent rape and date rape.
Posted Apr 15, 2017 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has estimated that one in five women will be raped at some time in their lives. This is a terrifying statistic that should have women anxious and keen to protect themselves. At the same time, it illustrates a greater societal problem that needs to be addressed on a more comprehensive scale and can serve as an incentive for every woman to address the issue of her own personal safety to prevent rape.
While tech devices and apps aren’t the answer. They can help keep girls and women safe in many situations.
To speed these innovations to market some entrepreneurs and startups are getting help from crowdfunding and other means to develop creative products and apps that give women an edge when it comes to personal safety. These range from devices disguised as jewelry to nail polish. Resourceful, effective, and discreet, these innovations can make a critical difference to prevent sexual assault when seconds matter in dangerous or life-threatening situations.
Athena is a black silicone pendant the size of a half-dollar and can be pinned to a purse, clothing, or even worn as a necklace. With a recessed button at the center of the device to prevent accidental alerts, users can hold it for three seconds to trigger a loud alarm that will immediately notify friends and family of their current location, or alternatively, press it three times in quick succession to send a silent alert if you’re suspicious of being targeted.
The Safelet is another wearable device allowing users to send alerts to predetermined friends and family without using their phones who can then call 911. Similar to setting a watch, users can activate the Safelet by simultaneously pressing two buttons located on either side of the face. It looks and is worn like a regular bracelet, and once activated, syncs with the user’s mobile phone and starts recording sound.
This is a free app available for Android and iOS, allowing the user to set a timer when traveling alone. When you’re in a situation where you don’t have time to make a call for help, just shake your phone and even if it’s locked the app turns on your phone’s alarm, video camera and sends an alert to your pre-set emergency contacts. The company that created it dubbed itself the “Waze of personal safety” stating, “instead of giving you traffic updates, it warns you when you’re about to enter a high-crime zone.”
You can choose to add updates in the form of texts, pictures, or video, and if you do not tap the “I’m Safe” button before the timer runs out, friends and family are immediately given your location and any information you've uploaded. Because the app is activated based on inactivity, you’ll be taken care of even if you’re separated from your phone.
One functionality that sets Stiletto apart from other wearable jewelry or app, other than its stylish look, is the ability to place 911 calls on your behalf. Less than an inch on all sides, it can be worn as a pendant on necklaces or bracelets, and with a single press, dials an emergency contact, or the police. If you’re unable to speak for yourself, the automated voice assistant takes care of that for you. If the situation de-escalates, with a second press, you can confirm your safety.
5. Undercover Colors
Developed by university students, Undercover Colors is nail polish that changes color upon contact with a drink that has Xanax, Rohypnol, or GHB in it; the drugs most commonly used for date rape. Still, in the conceptual stage, the product is scheduled for release in 2017 and has already secured over $5.5 million in funding. For users, a test to see if their drinks are safe will only be a fingertip away.
While this is a wearable device that you can clip onto keys or your pants’ pocket, a free app version is also available. Revolar works with either Wi-Fi or cellular data, and while traveling, users can use a single click to let their contacts know they’re safe, two clicks if they feel unsafe, or three if they’re in imminent danger. Users can also use the app version to send themselves a phone call. The phone rings and plays a pre-recorded message, so the user can pretend they’re on a call to escape an uncomfortable situation in a pinch.
Because it is a text service, there’s nothing to download. As long as you have a cell phone signal, let Kitestring know when to check up on you, and text your reply when they do. The SMS service, which is free, also offers emergency contact notifications and a personalized alert message.
8. React Mobile
React Mobile offers both a free safety app and a panic button device that can be attached to clothing, car keys, wallets, or carried in hand. Once activated, a React Mobile dispatcher immediately provides emergency contacts with your profile information and GPS location. Called “the world’s smallest personal panic button” React Mobile also offers group packages, perfect for organizations and community groups looking to stay protected together.
9. Guardian Locket
Created by a university student, the Guardian Locket was designed to be worn around the neck, and when pressed, rings the user’s phone to provide a potential distraction. A second press sends three consecutive text messages to three separate emergency contacts, along with their location information, an image of their face, and a request for help. The image feature allows persons traveling or living alone in new places to have nearby contact with guides, landlords, or other trusted individuals.
10. Go Guarded
This self-defense product is geared towards active women, who want to enjoy the freedom of exercise in the early morning hours, or in the evenings after work without worry. The heavy-duty plastic serrated-edge weapon is fitted to and worn on your finger and can increase the user’s chances of getting to safety in the event of an attack. There’s no need to reach into a pocket or fanny pack—with only a split second to react, you can start defending yourself right away.