South Africa is a dangerous country for girls and women and downloading safety apps shouldn’t be an option, but a must. One of the biggest dangers to women are men — this has been a lived reality for far too long and the stats are not getting better.
Sexual violence in South Africa is among the highest in the world (the world!). In fact, according to the United Nations Office on Crimes and Drugs in 1998, South Africa was ranked first for rapes per capita.
According to the SAPS, a woman is raped every 36 seconds in South Africa. A woman being raped over the age of 25 has a 1 in 4 chance that her rapist is HIV positive and only 1 in 4 rapes are reported. It’s also been estimated that over 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime. It almost doesn’t sound real, but it is.
And murder? Well, according to the SAPS, 2 930 women were murdered in 2017/18 and a woman is murdered every three hours in South Africa. We could go on and on with the stats, but the fact of the matter remains: women are not safe in South Africa and every resource to aid safety should be utilised. Thank goodness our smartphones can do more than take great selfies.
Here are the five safety apps that every woman in this country should consider having on her phone. Having these could be the difference between life and death in an emergency — and all it takes is some data or a bit of WiFi. You never know when you might need it.
MySOS SA, an app that was developed in South Africa, has several features that can help you in different types of emergencies. The app provides you with the numbers and addresses of police stations, hospitals, pharmacies, vets, doctors and dentists in South Africa.
Over and above that, it has a tracking feature that lets your emergency contacts know where you are at all times.
Namola (by Dial Direct)
Namola is arguably one of the most popular safety apps in South Africa (and for good reason!). At the moment, it’s only available in Gauteng, Western Cape and Stellenbosch. The Namola app works like a cab-hailing service, but instead of a cab arriving, a nearby responder (which could be a police officer) will get a notification and respond. All you have to do is press a button when you’re in an emergency, click on what type of emergency you’re in and you’ll receive a call almost immediately.
Namola also lets you add five emergency contacts who will have access to your current location when you’re in an emergency.
Life360 Family Locator
Life360 Family Locator is a must-have for everyone, but it’s particularly important for people with children. The app keeps the whole family connected and will keep you updated on everyone’s location at any time of the day. You can also create different groups for different family members and you can chat to each other on the app as well.
Find My Friends
Find My Friends works very similarly to the Life360 Family Locator. Using an interactive map, you can see the location of your friends at any point during the day. When you’re in an emergency, you can issue an alert to all your friends and the app will tell them where you are and your phone’s battery life.