A new iPhone app which enables women and other users to send a distress signal and broadcast their GPS location to trusted contacts has been launched to address the issue of violence against women in Australia.
The free app, called Fearless, has been developed in response to statistics that 45 per cent of Australian of women avoid exercising after dark and six out of ten women (61 per cent) avoid walking home at night, says The Australia Institute, March 2015, Everyday sexism: Australian women’s experiences of street harassment.
Fearless works like an invisible personal security guard that can send a touch-activated distress signal, instantly. When they go out for a run, the user can put the app in standby mode with a single tap, which means it is ready to alert up to three pre-selected emergency contacts. If the user feels in danger, they simply double tap the app and Fearless instantly sends a distress SMS to the trusted contacts.
The user’s location and any sound will be recorded and updated to a unique URL, which is included in the SMS. This information will help to track the user and identify a potential attacker in a discreet and reliable way.
Chris Howatson, Managing Director of CHE Proximity – the agency behind the app –says Fearless is designed to empower women and others with the peace of mind to go about their daily lives, fearlessly.
“We were really alarmed to learn that Australian women suffer random sexual assaults at twice the rate of women worldwide. This is just not good enough. The subject of personal safety is one that society needs to address head-on,” says Kathryn M Yount, February 2014, Worldwide prevalence of non-partner sexual violence’ published in The Lancet 383(9929) pp. 1614-1616.
“With the digital capabilities to create a technology-based solution, we knew we had an opportunity to create something that would make a real difference to this growing problem. The result is Fearless, an app designed exclusively to empower Australians to challenge fear, instead of simply accepting it,” Howatson says.
Developed for an Apple Watch or iPhone, Fearless is a free app available to download from the Apple store now. For more information and to download, visit https://fearlessapp.com.au or watch the video above.