assault

New Background Check Technology can Thwart Sexual Violence and Harassment

facial recognition technology

Facial recognition and text analysis are preventing women from meeting attackers.

There was no way for Katia to know the man she’d met online was planning to rape her. Like many women using online dating apps and websites, she was cautious and did everything right.

On the night of their first date, the college graduate told her mother and best friend where she would be. She presumed safety in the public locale of a city bar, and she was right, for a time.

Katia continued to see the man, text him, and speak to him on the phone. Having gained her trust, he was privy to her home address. It wasn’t until after the fourth date that things started to go wrong.

One night the man she’d met online, and had considered up until that point to be a “cool guy,” showed up at her apartment with a bottle of wine laced with Rohypnol and raped her.

Katia was beaten and threatened at knifepoint in a five-hour aggravated rape and assault. Despite surviving the ordeal, her life was torn apart. And sadly, even retrospectively, there had been no way to predict it—until now.

New and innovative reverse image searching

Named after one of the many victims of aggravated rape, KATIA aims to stop women from ever meeting an attacker. Responding to the flaws of traditional background checks, which require both first and last names, the program takes advantage of the assets women often have: pictures and text.

An evidence-based rape screening tool, the program uses two unique programming techniques with “R,” a statistical computer and graphics language, to highlight potential dangers.

Read the full post at Future of Sex.

Image source: NEC Corporation of America with Creative Commons License 

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Smart Jewelry to Protect Women from Sexual Assault

walking1Athena, a wearable smart device intended to protect women from assault, is the first product released by social justice innovators Roar for Good.

Easily clipped to bags or clothing, the piece of smart jewelry allows women a subtle way to call for help should they ever feel unsafe or threatened.

Pressing the button for three seconds causes Athena to emit a loud alarm while sending a distress message with its wearer’s GPS location to stored emergency contacts. The concave structure of the button prevents accidental alarms, and pressing the button quickly three times sends a silent message when its user is in need of discretion.

Roar for Good co-founder and Chief Executive Yasmine Mustafa explained the thought process behind the device’s capabilities in an interview with Her Philly.

“We talked to police and self-defense instructors and asked them what would work best in terms of a deterrent that can’t be used against the wearer,” she said. “Existing self-defense tools double as weapons and we learned women are afraid they’ll be overpowered and they’re own device would be used against them.”

Read the full piece at Future of Sex.

Image via Michael.