News: Women crowd-source their own security on Tel Aviv’s streets.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – The 2011 party in central Israel turned grim when a woman was cornered by two men in an adjoining room. Then her friends showed up, concerned about their absence. The attackers fled.
It was a moment of strength in numbers that inspired one of the friends, Neta Schreiber, to create SafeUp, an app that allows women who feel threatened or unsafe to seek help from other subscribers.
SafeUp was launched on Sunday in Tel Aviv, where it was developed in their communal technology laboratory. It could provide ideas for bigger cities like London, where the kidnapping and murder of pedestrian Sarah Everard on March 3 sparked public calls for better countermeasures.
The phone app enables a woman in need to share her live location with a list of contacts she provides in advance, and can use audio or video to locate and connect volunteer “guardians” up to 500 meters away .
Should the woman or the “legal guardians” who have been trained by SafeUp in legal and psychological aspects of the crisis intervention consider the situation as imminent, they can call the police via the app, which taps on the phone’s camera and microphone Record evidence.
For less extreme circumstances, “guards” can go to the scene nearby to help.
“We are aiming for a response time of five minutes,” Schreiber told Reuters, adding that her reinforcement by two “guards” was enough to shake off her perpetrator when a harassed woman used SafeUp during the test phase.
The app, which is free to download, has also helped prevent domestic violence, she said, even though “guardians” do not enter private homes.
While Tel Aviv is considered relatively safe when it comes to violent crime, the new app has been welcomed by its wives.
About 4% of women in Israel have been sexually molested and 0.3% have been molested, raped, or raped, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Around 45% of women exposed to violence or threats of violence file complaints with the police.
“Of course I’ll use it,” said Lital Herman, a 33-year-old SafeUp product manager. “Personally, I feel very safe in Tel Aviv and don’t usually go very late at night. But if I do I will have my own dog and if I feel like I need another partner I will definitely use this app. “
The Israeli women’s movement Naamat welcomed the launch of the app as an important step in the overall campaign to end violence against women, but added: “Start-ups and the mobilization of technology for the safety of women are not the be-all and end-all and not every murder, attack, or harassment can be prevented by technology. “
Letter from Dan Williams; Arrangement by Jeffrey Heller and Emelia Sithole-Matarise
Original Source © Reuters