By Waiswa Wafula
Women are more prone to insecurity especially in situations such as walking down a dark street or a deserted road late into the night. In Israel, the possibility of finding help and protection with just one click in threatening situations has been provided through an app called SafeUP.
“Any female can download the app and sign up. After the registration process, the request to join is reviewed by our team of female volunteers, who verify each request to ensure the safety of the community members. Men who want to exploit the app or imposters cannot join this space: Our team of verifiers contacts each member of the community by video chat to ensure the member is actually a woman. Then our quality control team reviews the requests to join and makes sure everything is as it should be.” says activist and social worker Danielle Beker, who is community developer at the Tel Aviv-based company.
The app designed for all women allows you to create an account for free and join a community with other women. This community allows women and girls to get help if required from other women.
“A community member under the age of 18 can only request assistance, while a community member aged over 18 can both request and provide assistance,” she explained.
The girls volunteering are called “Shomrot” and are required to take an in-app digital course that will provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge they need.
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Through three key features; “Walk and talk”, “Help now” and “Share location,” SafeUp enables the women to safeguard one another and avoid any type of harassment, abuse or assault.
With the first Pilot launched in September last year beginning in the Florentine neighborhood, the app has now grown nationwide attracting over 16,000 women. The app ranges with women aged from 10 to 70 years all taking part in the initiative.
The app averagely records 100 requests for help in a month and for every request, Beker follows up by calling both the member that called for help and the guardian that responded.
The project has also expanded beyond Israel’s shores according to Beker.
“In February, we started communities of female guardians in Boston, New York, Washington and 43 other cities in America,” Beker relays. “The first members in Europe are starting communities in most European countries. The goal is that anywhere in the world, there’ll be a group of women looking out for you and there for you, so you’ll never be alone again.”
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