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Friday, May 21, 2010

Being Raped? There's an app for that

FEMINIST/TECHNOLOGY - Over a year ago Apple's iPhone came out with the slogan ‘There’s an app for that’, essentially the idea of a little program built into the SmartPhone which allowed you to do everything from calculate tips, play the piano, count calories, learn French or looking for the nearest washroom.

Looking for the nearest store that sells dental floss? There's an app for that.

But during that process of designing all these applications they neglected to create one for if you're being stalked, being creeped out by some guy on the subway and you're suddenly wishing you had taken some self-defense classes... See Self Defense Against Rapists.

Well, now there's an app for that. It just took awhile for someone to create it.

No, not an app for learning self-defense, although you could always look into that... the app is the YWCA Safety Siren app. Its free to download from iTunes.

Basically its a combination of functions:

#1. A rape whistle, available with a choice of three ear-splitting wails.

#2. An automatic email function to contact preset emergency numbers/email addresses for the authorities, complete with sending a Google map of your current location.

#3. Tips on how to avoid trouble, smart and safe ways to meet people, how to avoid guys who are potentially dangerous.

#4. A map which shows you the nearest health and rape crisis centres.

There are other apps available too, one for if you're being assaulted, one for finding the nearest safe location, one for telling you what streets are less safe to walk alone, etc.

But frankly all of this is AFTER THE FACT. Its a bit like the Morning-After-Pill. Chances are likely you won't think to use such applications until after you've been raped or assaulted. With luck you might be able to use the Rape Whistle function during the actual attack, but frankly I put more stock in a good solid kick to the balls (which will give you more time to activate the device on your iPhone as you run away).

If you really want to prevent rape you need to do several things:

#1. Walk with confidence. Rapists target shy, mousy women because they're less likely to struggle, shout or put up much of a fight.

#2. Take up jogging, running and go to the gym regularly. Boxing, kick boxing, self defense classes would be good too. Not only will you be more likely to outrun an attacker, but if you're more athletic your ability to fight back and escape will be dramatically improved.

#3. THINK FAST! Keep your head on your shoulders and don't panic. Keep your wits about you as quick thinking may be the difference that saves you. ie. You could rip the condom. Rapists typically use condoms these days because they're worried about leaving DNA evidence behind. Its safe to assume they only brought one and their plan will fall apart if it gets ripped.

#4. Keep your hands free. Carry your purse or bag on your shoulder or on your back.

#5. Avoid uninhabited places. Busy streets are better.

#6. Be prepared, get your keys out early when going to your car or building.

#7. Men have several vital points: Genitals, eyes, nose and neck. Kick the genitals, poke their eyes out, punch their nose or neck. A punch to the nose can stun him. A good solid punch to the neck can actually kill a man.

None of this of course will prevent you from being raped by the Apple company with their bills however.

See Also:
Stop Rape
The Ten Worst Countries for Women

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