The vast majority of people who choose to walk home in the evening arrive safely and are never in danger
But being alone out at night can be unnerving at times and many will think that despite the fact that everyone should be able to take a trip without risking anything undesirable happening, it’s only a good idea to take a few extra steps and precautions.
Recent incidents, while extremely rare, have heightened fears of traveling alone at night. Sarah Everard, 33, was the victim of ‘deception, kidnapping, rape, strangulation, arson’ after she was kidnapped by Pc Wayne Couzens as she innocently returned home at night alone.
And Sabina Nessa, 28, was killed as she left to take what should have been a five-minute walk from her home to meet a date in a pub. The Metropolitan Police have confirmed Koci Selamaj, 36, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, has been charged with her murder.
There’s actually a lot of support and help you can get if you’re looking for a little more peace of mind before the next time you go out after dark. Here are some options…
WalkSafe is a personal safety app that lets you avoid trouble spots when you get home.
The app includes a map that shows crime figures taken from monthly reports, whether it’s sexual assaults, assaults, stabbings or pickpocketing.
If you are walking home and approach a street or area where a crime has been reported, the app will alert you so you can avoid that area and take an alternate route home. if possible.
The app includes a “TapSafe” feature, which lets you check in with your friends if you feel unsafe. You can press “OK” every 30 seconds or “nervous” every 10 seconds before your contacts are alerted and your location is displayed.
The handy HomeSafe feature lets you set an estimated time of arrival when you leave and will send your location to an emergency contact if you don’t get home in time. You can also set a reminder for emergency contacts to connect with you.
One Scream is an app that can detect a scream and a text message and a robocall with your location is then sent to your designated contact.
The app aims to give users the confidence to feel safe when walking to their destination.
How it works?
-A keyword or your panicked cry triggers the app – even when your phone is buried in your bag.
– When the app is warned of danger, you hear a loud siren, the phone vibrates and a notification appears.
-You have 20 seconds to cancel the alarm if you need to.
-One Scream will then send an automated message to your chosen contacts
If you have an Android, the phone line will remain open so that the chosen contact can hear, identify and get help.
Shake2Safety is designed to send emergency messages to a contact, as well as record audio and video, and can be triggered by subtle gestures like shaking your phone or pressing the power button four times.
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The Hollie Guard app is designed to be a companion for you when you’re alone, meeting someone new, or going to a dangerous place where there’s no signal or wifi.
The app automatically records audio and video and shares them with your emergency contacts.
Every five seconds, the platform will update your precise location based on your speed and movement activity to identify where you are once an alert has been triggered. The app can work by detecting trips or falls using a motion sensor.
The Life360 app allows you to create your own “circles” of trusted contacts and verify their location. You can also send and receive real-time alerts when members of your circle leave or arrive at different locations.
There is a help alert feature that lets those around you know that you feel unsafe after 10 seconds.
Circle of 6
Circle of 6 is a fast, easy to use and private app. It was originally designed for students to prevent sexual violence. The app is handy for teens, parents, friends, or any community looking to foster healthy relationships and safety.
Circle of 6 says, “Need help getting home? Need a break? Two taps let your circle know where you are and how they can help you. The Circle of 6 app for iPhone and Android makes it quick and easy to reach any 6 people you choose. It’s the mobile way to watch over each other on campus or when you’re out at night. A simple tool to prevent violence before it happens .
The bSafe app has a range of features, such as an SOS button, which can be activated by touch or voice and records your surroundings to send to contacts of your choice, and allows you to invite your contacts to track your location via GPS.
There’s also a Fake Call feature, which you can use to ring your phone to get out of situations you’re unsure of or when you feel most vulnerable.
Red panic button
Pressing the panic button in this app will instantly send your emergency contacts an SMS and email with your coordinates in a Google Maps link.
It also lets you send a “panic tweet” that shares your location and lets your followers know you need help.
Strut Safe was founded by Rachel Chung and Alice Jackson following the murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021. Today, with over fifty volunteers across the UK, Strut Safe is able to provide free rides at home in Edinburgh, as well as a free telephone service for the whole of the UK.
You can call 0333 335 0026 free of charge on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.
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