Smartphone app allows women to notify family & friends when they feel unsafe
VithU is an app that was developed by Channel V for a TV show in India, but it came at a time when the media was full of news about the increasing number of rapes in the country. It begins sending out alert messages every 2 minutes to your contacts that you feed into the app as the designated receivers or guardians when the power button is pressed twice consecutively.The receiver gets a link to your location every 2 minutes giving them an updated location.
This app does raise a few practical questions: what happens if someone presses the button by mistake, for example? But overall I think it is a start. The vast majority of people today have smartphones, and though low-income women may not quite have smartphones they will still have featurephones that this idea can be adapted for.
It is interesting because if nothing else, it gives women some amount of confidence to navigate their city - and building confidence is important because not a week goes by without a report of assault or rape on women in most of the developing world.
Here is a
link to the app on Android.
an article about it in an Indian newspaper.