Have you ever been walking somewhere and not feel safe? Maybe there weren’t enough lights around, or you someone was following you. What did you do in this situation to make yourself feel safer?
For me, the times I’ve been in this situation, I’ve called one of my friends talked to them on the phone, and if they didn’t answer I would just pretend I was talking to them. This is what I learned to do in the self defense class I took. This always seemed like a good solution and made me feel safer. But, I never thought about what would happen if something did happen to me. If I was talking to someone, they wouldn’t know where I was, and if I wasn’t even actually talking to someone than it would be worse. Luckily, three college students from the University of Missouri, did think about this.
The students, Nick Droege, Zach Beattie, and Zach Winkler, noticed a lot of women at their school felt unsafe, and the blue lights on campus weren’t making them feel any safer. So they decided to create a smartphone app that students could use quickly and quietly to summon help.
The app, which is available for both Android and Apple users, is very simple to use. Once you download the app, you enter your information, and set a 4 digit pin. Then, next time you feel unsafe, you just open the app, hold down on the safe button until you feel safe again, and then you have 10 seconds to type in your pin. If you let go of the safe button and do not type in your pin in the allotted amount of time, the local police and the Safe Trek call center are notified. together they can find your location and send help.
The creators of the app also have talked about how the app can improve communities. They can look at the data from the areas that are used, figure out what areas it is used in the most, and then work to make those areas more safer. This may mean adding more lights, or increasing police presence.
The app which is only available in the US has more than 250,000 users. 70% of the users are aged between 13 and 24 years old, and 95% of all users are women. The only problem is that the app costs $2.99 per month to use. I’m sure that the cost is equal to benefits it brings from using it, but also being part of the majority of user types, I can say that the cost would turn me off.