OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Mobile protection - reassurance, deterrence and response from your cellphone in a threat situation

Reflecting on two threat situations I've experienced, I observe how I use talking loudly on my mobile phone as a defence mechanism. This got me thinking about other ways in which the phone can be used as a form of protection - and I've found a few nifty pre-existing solutions.

Photo of Audree Fletcher
1 7

Written by

I've been alone with a male stranger in a particularly intimidating situation only twice. The first time was straightforward - a man walking behind me through an unlit alleyway, avoiding eye contact whenever I turned round and being generally creepy. The second time was complicated - I was offered a lift by a stranger on the night of the 7/7 bombings. Public transport was in turmoil and my only train home was from a station on the other side of the city - his offer of a car ride to the station was my only way to get home that day. He looked like a normal guy in his forties, drove a nice car and looked fairly harmless - but you never know. 

Both times I've felt reassured by spending the journey on the phone to a loved one. Talking loudly enough, telling them where I am, when I should be getting home. Creating an "audience" for my journey home had two effects on me - it was reassuring talking to a loved one (made me feel less alone, less intimated, and I knew someone would be know if I was attacked), and empowering to make noise in a quiet and isolated situation, (believing myself less likely to be attacked if I was talking confidently and loudly on the phone).

Clearly other women have found phone calls similarly reassuring, and it doesn't just have to be a loved one at the end of the phone, a more professional, security-focused audience can be created too - a quick look around the App Store reveals an app designed to provide just this sort of service.

Finally, I started thinking of other ways in which my phone could make me feel safer: I remembered this article I saw last year. It discusses iPhone cases that protect not only the phone but its user, covering cases incorporating: (See photos of each of these above).



 

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Audree,

Thank you for your personal antidote. It is true, talking on the phone in the accompany of another person can be a deference mechanism. In both of your situations, it protected you. However, I also heard that talking on the phone can be a distraction and make yourself a target.