Photo courtesy of Athena By ROAR
BY KITT WALSH
Whether you are out for your daily run, entering a parking garage after work or simply strolling past a dark alley in your hometown, the chilling statistic is that one in five American women will experience a rape, an attempted rape or other assault.
In order to help make that horrifying reality less of a threat, entrepreneurs have created many types of wearable security devices for women, designed to summon help when needed without looking ugly, clunky or obvious when doing so.
Many of the devices start out as crowdfunded projects that never make it past the prototype stage or even those backed by known entities in the security field like Mace (Mace Wear Pod) have disappeared without a trace. One that looked particularly great was a product called Cuff, which appears to have been a scam, and its site collects data now for apparently nefarious purposes, so beware when researching the security solution for you. But some devices are on the level and are set to create a safer environment for women and look good while doing so.
Here are a few that are poised to hit the market:
Athena by ROAR
She was the original tough cookie: Athena, the Goddess of War, and now a product bearing her name is one of the weapons in an arsenal to help keep women or their belongings safe in an increasingly dangerous society.
Anthony Gold and Yasmine Mustafa created Athena, a wearable security device that can be worn as a necklace, clipped to a bag or attached to a keychain. The device has a button that can be pressed when you feel threatened. Not only will it emit a loud alarm, but it will send a text message to friends and family with your GPS location. In situations where a loud alarm isn’t helpful, like domestic violence situations, the device also has a silent mode that still sends out that text message.
“Existing self defense tools are intimidating, aggressive and combative,” says Mustafa. “Even more worrisome, women are concerned they might be overpowered and any weapon they might carry could be used against them. We needed to invent something better.”
Part of that something better is realizing that the best time to stop violent crime against women is to do so before it starts. So part of every sale of Roar’s Athena is donate to nonprofits that teach empathy and healthy relationship skills to young boys and girls, programs that have been shown to decrease violence later in life. Part of the cost ($99) buys a device for the women residents of Women Against Abuse, one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the country. Athena may be ordered at www.ROARforGood.com.
Stiletto is a 1×1 inch charm available in black and silver tone hypoallergenic stainless steel designs and/or various gemstones) to be worn as a necklace or bracelet Press it three times and it not only calls your friends, but 911. It allows emergency operators to hear your voice (so you can give extra details about your attack, if possible, and stores the audio in the cloud to use as future evidence) and even creates an automated call when you can’t speak. It tells listeners where you are and that you are having an emergency. Tests show it allows law enforcement to reach you 6x faster than text messaging and it works even if your phone is buried in your bag or if you are in an area with no cell service. The device is presently available for preorder for $179 with 6 months of premium monitoring service (a $60 value) free. The monitoring service is $9.99 per month thereafter, with no minimum contract required. To see a video of the Stiletto device and pre-order it, visit http://stiletto.is/.
Another disturbing statistic is that there is a larceny every five seconds in this country. To help combat that is the the anti-theft-focused Charm Alarm, which is a connected necklace that keeps tabs on your purse and wallet. Developed by a woman who turned her back on her bag for only a few moments in a jewelry store, only to find it was long enough for her purse to go missing, the Charm Alarm warns you if you walk too far away from your belongings or if someone tries to grab your bag and make off with it. It also makes noise to attract attention to the theft. This device will be available in spring of 2017 and will cost under $100. To pre-order, visit http://charmalarm.com.
Every little bit helps in the fight to stay safe and these devices do so beautifully.