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App Turns Mexico Women’s Phones Into Panic Buttons

Jesus Salas - Agence France-Presse
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July 12, 2017
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View of a new app released by Juarez’s city hall to help women in distress send alert signals by simply shaking the phone or pressing a button.

The Mexican city of Juarez has been dubbed “the capital of murdered women”: since the 1990s, hundreds of women have been raped, killed and dumped in the desert, or simply disappeared without a trace.

Now the border city, which sits across from El Paso, Texas, is fighting back by launching an application that turns women’s cell phones into panic buttons.

The app, called “I Am Not Alone” (“No estoy sola,” in Spanish), lets users send an alert to their emergency contacts by shaking their phones or clicking a button.

It does not require a data plan, instead sending text messages with a link that enables the recipient to see the user’s location on Google Maps.

“Wherever you have cell phone coverage, you can use the app,” said Miguel David Diaz de Leon, technology and communications director at Juarez City Hall.

“Help, I have an emergency. This is my location,” say the messages.

The app continues sending them every five to 10 minutes, or until the user deactivates them.

The app is currently only available for Android phones, but the city is working on versions for other systems.

Launched last week, the app has already been downloaded more than 13,000 times — including more than 100 times in the United States.

Read the rest at Citizen

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