Use technology to stalk the stalker

  • Vandana Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2015 08:44 IST

When a girl steps outside her home, a fear follows her all the way. Increasing cases of rape, eve teasing and sexual harassment in public places has also triggered this fear in their minds.

There could be many ways to make our society and public places safer for women, but the experts agree on a point that awareness among women and to make them stronger to deal with such situations is the best measure for their safety.

Besides, there are so many devices and apps that can strengthen a girl to deal with tough situations.
Smartphones are available with every girl these days. These smartphones can also be used for safety purposes, besides calling and chatting. There are so many safety apps that a girl can download.

The main purpose of these apps is to keep a link between a girl and her parents or caretaker in some way or the other. With safety apps, a girls' purse should also find a place for some safety gadgets like pepper spray and kitty chains, which can provide her a shield from the stalkers in time of need.

President of the Belan Brigade Anita Sharma said, "It's necessary that girl should be aware enough to judge a tough situation. While self-defence training should be must, using safety apps in mobile phones is a good concept. But it's a tragedy that most of the girls don't think seriously or don'y know about such apps."

Some people think that safety devices could be the best way to deal with untoward situations.

Amardeep Lall, who launched 'Seeti (whistle) Care Campaign' in the city a year ago, said, "Having a whistle around the neck is best option for girls to use for their safety. This is a device that can help girls in time of distress, as at that time one can't get a chance to look into phone or to get
some other device for her safety."

While some favour safety apps these days, others vouch for spreading awareness first. Manmeet Sodhia, a social figure, said, "I feel that instead of giving girls the gadgets, we should make them fearless and capable to handle such situations. It's necessary to know what to do in time of need as only then a girl can use such gadgets or apps." Girls should be made aware of the helpline numbers on which she could contact in tough times, added Sodhia.

Call 1091 for any complaint

This helpline number remains active 24X7 and complainant gets a quick response. When the HT correspondent called on the number, it was picked on a single ring and the official on the call informed that nearly 50 calls are received by a woman on a daily basis on this number. If a woman or girl finds herself in problem, she must use this number.

Before leaving home ensure

+ The first line of defence for a girl is awareness. Most people think of kicks to the groin and blocking punches. However, true self defence begins long before any actual physical contact happens. Awareness of yourself, your surroundings and potential attackers can be the best self defence

+ Believe on your sixth sense or gut instinct when at a strange place or with a stranger

+ Ensure where you are going and by which way if the place is new

+ Location should always be known to a family member or a friend

+ Mobile phone should be charged and should have enough balance to call

+ Purse should have some sort of safety gadgets like lipstick/perfume pepper spray, cellphone stun gun, comb knife or pen knife or kitty keychain

+ Be aware of the strange persons and don't take anything to eat or drink if you are meeting them for the first time

+ Check tyres and fuel of the vehicle well in advance.

Turn your phone into a personal safety device

Mobiles are always there with women these days and installing few safety apps on it could help a female in time of need.

9 safety apps to watch your back

Raksha: Just at the press of a button your near and dear ones know your location. Even if the app is switched off and isn't running, pressing the volume key for just three seconds alerts the specific contacts you have chosen beforehand.

VithU: Push your power button twice to instantly send an SOS alert to contacts. Alert messages are sent out every two minutes to listed contacts.

Circle Of 6:
This app will help send an alert to any of your six chosen contacts. The app can also connect you to the proper authorities for an emergency or even just for relationship advice.

Life360 Family Locator:
The app lets you create circles, add people to them and see their locations on a confidential map. You can share your location with them, or send an alert to your circle members.

I'm Shakti: To reach your emergency contact, press the power button five times (in 2 seconds) to trigger the app. A preset emergency SMS will be sent along with your GPS location.

Nirbhaya: Be Fearless:
You can use the power button to send out a distress signal. Lets the user send an sms alert or call with a single touch in the event of an emergency. When activated, it will send your precise GPS location to your pre-selected contacts.

Sentinel Personal Security SOS: It lets you send SMS and email alerts, as well as call your emergency contacts when the need arises. It works even without a working Internet connection or network.

Secure Her: It works by sending out a distress signal as soon as the phone owner double taps on the app's icon in her phone. Then, a call centre will respond to the distress signal to make sure that help reaches the user.

Woman Safety Shield:
This app allows you to take pictures (as evidence), and quickly send info as well as your current location, to your pre-determined emergency contact.

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