Violence against women is a serious topic that continues to be an issue not only across America, but across the world. It’s difficult for a woman to feel safe walking to a parking garage alone at night, or walking across a college campus after a night class. Many women now feel forced to carry mace, warning whistles and other objects to protect themselves from those who may be hiding in the shadows.
That’s why Yasmin Mustafa and Anthony Gold founded a company called ROAR, with the goal of arming women in an effort to stop them from becoming victims of violent sexual assaults and physical attacks. In this case, “arming them” doesn’t mean providing them with guns. Instead, ROAR created an emergency alert device which they call “Athena” — an ode to the Greek goddess of strength and justice.
Athena is worn as a necklace, and with a three-second push of the button comes the sound of a loud alarm to scare off attackers and notify others that help is needed. Along with the alarm, loved ones and friends immediately receive a text message alerting them of the woman’s location.
Here are a few safety tips for all women to keep in mind:
1. Always be aware of your surroundings. Know where you are and who is around you. Don’t get distracted by your cell phone.
2. If you find yourself alone walking to your car, hold your cell phone in your hand with 911 ready to go. Check under your car, get in, lock the doors immediately, and leave.
3. If you return to your car and see a van parked next to the driver’s side, or a male sitting in the car, enter through the passenger’s side.
4. If you return to your car and it has a flat tire, immediately go back to where you came from (a store, restaurant, etc.) and wait for help there.
5. When giving someone your address in public, such as a pharmacist, lower your voice to make sure you aren’t broadcasting your address. The same goes for your room number when checking into a hotel.
6. Always pour your own drink at a party and take it with you everywhere. Keep your drink in your hand at a bar — Don’t take your eyes off of it.
7. Don’t let your friend wander off from girls night with a guy she just met. Stay in a group.
8. Your elbow is the strongest point on your body – Use it if you need to!
9. If you are ever attacked, don’t give up on fighting back. Scream, kick, punch, run — Do everything you can to get away.
10. Women tend to be sympathetic when someone asks for help with directions, or asks to borrow a cell phone. Many serial killers have been good looking, educated men. Always be cautious. It’s better to be safe than sorry.