South Africans are outraged at the escalating rates of murder, rape and kidnapping of women and children all over the country. This week was particularly difficult after the murder and rape of UCT student, Uyinene Mrwetyana, at the hands of a Post Office worker and the kidnapping of 6-year-old Amy-Leigh de Jager, who was snatched from her mother’s car at the Laerskool Kollegepark in Vanderbijlpark on Monday. Three suspects have been arrested in connection to the kidnapping and Amy-Leigh has since been safely returned to her family.
These are just a few of the events that have sparked anger among South Africans questioning the safety of women and children around the country. People have taken to the streets to protest against gender-based violence in South Africa, which has become a major issue over the years with no real intervention from the government.
In South Africa alone, the number of reported cases of women and children being abused and abducted, raped and killed has risen at an alarming rate. How can technology play a role in trying to combat this reality? There is no one-stop-shop solution but these apps have been developed to try and increase a sense of safety for women and children:
Recommended apps for safety for women
1. MySOS SA
MySOS is a locally developed app that offers users access to contact details and addresses for doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, vets and police stations in South Africa. It also has a special feature called mySOS Track Me that can track your journey anywhere in SA. If you are running late, it checks your GPS location and notifies your emergency SOS contacts. This app will definitely come in handy since we have numerous emergency service providers in the private and public sector.
Download it here.
2. Project Namola App
Project Namola is a local app that provides an Uber-like service for security in Gauteng, Western Cape and Stellenbosch. The app works by using the geo-location of subscribers who need emergency help. By simply pressing a button, a notification is sent to Metro Police of your nearest city who will respond. Project Namola might only be available in a few provinces at the moment but it definitely hints at the possibility of app technology being utilised elsewhere around the country and putting to practise cooperation between communities and police. Namola provides data analytics that allow police to identify crime hotspots and deploy resources accordingly.
Download it here.
3. Bull Horns App
Bull Horns first burst into the spotlight in South Africa in 2014. Made by App Developer Studio, the Bull Horns app allows a panic button to be added to a user’s smartphone. It allows the user to dial their security company or the police automatically in an emergency situation. The app is available on Apple smartphones and is free to download and use. It allows up to five private contacts (preferably who live close by) to be notified in case of an emergency.
Download it here.
4. Women Safety App
Women Safety app is designed to inform and update your close ones if you are in an unsafe place. The app is the fastest and easiest way to update your close ones about your location and other details. With just a tap of a button, the app sends an SMS to a preconfigured number along with your location and a link to Google Map. The app also captures two pics; one with the front camera and the other with the back camera, and a video or audio clip and uploads it to our server. A link to the pic, audio or video is emailed to a preconfigured email ID(s).
Download it here.
Recommended safety apps for children
Here are some apps that can you help you keep your child safe:
1. Kaspersky SafeKids
Kaspersky Safekids is one of the leading cybersecurity companies that acts as an all-in-one tracking and controlling tool for your kid’s smartphone. All you have to do is install the app on your child’s phone and you’ll be able to control it from a dedicated dashboard. This includes which apps and websites they can access and for how long. When you install the app, you will receive a special pin that can be used to secure the app from unauthorised access. The premium version of the app lets you schedule screen time, receive notifications about suspicious activities and get summaries of what children search, see and share. It also helps you create GPS safe zones.
2. Safety for Kids
What’s the best way for kids to learn about safety? Let them play games that have different stages where they learn something new and different about safety. Safety for kids is an app that has a game of 12 chapters. In these chapters, they go through different activities to learn what to do in emergency situations.
3. Watch Over Me
Women and children are the most targeted victims of abuse and rape. The Watch Over Me App allows your child’s contacts to follow their journey. You can specify how long you want it to track your child’s GPS location until they reach their destination. The best thing about the app is that if your child is in a dangerous situation, they can shake their phone to trigger an emergency alert and their phone camera will automatically turn on and start recording. The app also tells you when they’ve entered a high crime rate area.
Download on Android
4. Life360 Family Locator
Want to be able to chat with your child and know their whereabouts at all times? Life 360 Family locator might just be the app for you. It keeps the whole family connected through group chats and also lets you know where your kids are at all times. All the registered family members are shown on an interactive map in real-time and you can start a chat just by tapping on their profile. You can even separate different groups and family members.
Source: Capricorn Review