YWCA’s “Safety Siren” iPhone App Sends An S.O.S. Message For Help On A Sketchy Date

Ten years ago, when I was 17, I got into a car with a young guy I barely knew who was a customer at my job. We drove deep into the woods, parked his car, and got stoned. Bryan* eventually became my boyfriend, but I often think back to that night when I went off with a strange guy — and more than a few other nights like it — that could have gone wrong. I’ve always been a risk-taker, but, knock on wood, all the risks I took when I maybe should have heeded some “stranger danger” have turned out safe. But I know not every guy or girl is so lucky and this is how date rape and other acts of violence happens.

Could smartphones help keep people safe on dates, at parties and during risk-taking adventures? An app from the YMCA YWCA in Canada called “Siren Safety” thinks it just might.

The Safety Siren app, which is available in both English and French, is primarily an informational app about pressing lady-questions, like “How can I have a safe date?” and a host of facts, such as the age of consent in Canada. You can watch a quick (oddly, silent) video about the app above.

The most interesting feature, however, is the S.O.S. function. If you activate it, the app sends an emergency email to a preset email address with your coordinates and dials an outgoing call to a pre-programmed number. This could be useful whether you’re on a date that just got sketchy, and without money for a ride home that, or need to be picked up because you’re too drunk to drive. But of course, the best intentions of the app aside, no one yet knows the real-life utility of it. Bitch magazine’s blog also points out that the class element of an app like this: smartphones are expensive but regardless of her financial situation, every woman and man deserves not to be treated violently on a date.

Would you ever download an app like “Safety Siren”?

[YWCA Canada via Bitch Magazine]

Name has been changed.

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