Innovation That Matters

Personal safety app can send SOS alert with GPS location

Nonprofit & Social Cause

In India, when a user is feeling threatened, the Fight Back app can send an SOS message to friends, family and police with a GPS location.

Earlier this year we featured Hollaback in New York, a mobile app that allows users to share stories and photos of street harassment to be displayed on a map of the city. Now, New Delhi-based Whypoll — which already hosts a visual guide of dangerous areas in the city — is launching the Fight Back app, enabling users to send an SOS message with their exact location if they come into trouble. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, rape cases in New Delhi have increased over 760 percent in 18 years, and activists believe this figure to be an underestimation, as many women are afraid to report crimes fearing stigma and family dishonour. Women can already anonymously report incidents of harassment on the Whypoll website, and the new Fight Back app is due to launch later this month. When feeling unsafe, women will be able to simply push a button on their phone, which will send up to five people — including police — a text message with their GPS location. The app can also notify friends and family by posting updates on Facebook and Twitter. Fight Back was developed with Canvas M and will be available to download from the Whypoll website. The Fight Back campaign not only hopes to improve the immediate security of women, but also draw attention to the issue of sexual attacks in the city and increase pressure on authorities to take action. Could such a tool help women in cities around the world stay safe? Spotted by: Parul Rohatgi



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