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.
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.
Incorporating a discreet pepper spray can (credit: Spraytect)
Emitting a 100Db sound and texts your location to the emergency services (credit: CoyoteCase)
Knuckleduster case to frighten off would-be attackers (credit: Knucklecase)
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).