You shouldn't have to worry about your safety – no matter where you live. Take your safety seriously with the new emergency notification services.
The other night, my girlfriends and I went out to a bar in downtown Grand Rapids. We've never really had to worry about incidents happening to or around us, because we assume the city is safe. It’s a small metropolis with regular police watches, and there are always people milling about at all hours, making the likelihood of a violent crime seem small. This particular night, a friend parted her way through the crowd to tell me she was calling it a night. She decided to walk back to her house, alone, at midnight. She lived about a mile from the bar, which is manageable in the warmer months.
She made it home, safe and sound, but I was worried. And the worry and guilt hasn't quite left me. My friend should have waited for someone to accompany her, and it should have been me. Even though she was walking down brightly lit streets, a trek she had done millions of times, she shouldn't have had to do it alone.
We may not all live in big cities where crime rates are high, but no one should compromise their personal safety just because they’re not strolling the streets of DC or New York City at night. Violent crimes can happen anywhere, even in a city or suburb where you feel safe. That’s why the people behind Kitestring decided to bring their service to the public.
Kitestring isn’t quite an app, but a web service that alerts your friends and family if you never make it home. Whenever you’re leaving an establishment by yourself, or even walking your dog through your neighborhood, you can enter in an approximate time you think you should get back safe, and the service will alert your emergency contacts if you don’t check in.
The service lets you customize your message, so you can provide your name, your activity, and your location to ensure someone can reach you quickly if need be. When you've made it to your destination, you can text “OK” to Kitestring and the alerts will be turned off. You can also push back your arrival time, if you think you’ll be slowed down by the train or traffic.
Kitestring was first featured in Elle, which made some important distinctions between a service that alerts emergency services upon activity, and Kitestring, which notifies someone based on “inactivity”. Kitestring doesn’t require you to touch or swipe at anything on your phone, or shake it in case of an emergency, like Nirbhaya. No friend will be bothered to receive a text from your Kitestring if you forget to turn it off once you’re snuggled in your pj's – they’ll carry on with an easy mind knowing you've made it home.
There’s the saying popular with the mom-crowd that you can never be too careful. Never take your personal safety lightly or take risks when it’s unnecessary, and always inform a friend or multiple people if possible when you think you might have to take a shady way home. Kitestring wants men and women to feel safe, like someone always has their back.
Read the original Elle article here: http://www.elle.com/life-love/society-career/kitestring-app-safety-apps-women