On-campus sexual assault is an issue that every public safety department at universities must contend with. According to a study of undergraduate students, 53% of women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence and the hands of their partner. However, when a women is raped on a campus, it not only harms the survivor of this horrendous crime, but leads to all women not feeling safe at school, where the rape occurred. Unfortunately, when sexual assaults happen on campus, many female students tend to live in fear that a perpetrator could be lurking around the next corner. This assertion is not hyperbolic ranting, but rather a concrete reality that women across North America undergo during their college years.
Preventing these sexual assaults and helping women feel safe at school, clearly should be a major concern for any university public safety official. To prevent these heinous crimes and to create a campus culture that allows women to feel safe, law enforcement at universities must develop and invest in the best communication tools, which can help reduce and prevent rapes from occurring under their watch. Creating an effective two-way communication system between the student body and on-campus security services will both help women feel safe at school and provide quick access to help should they feel threatened.
To prevent sexual assault and other forms of campus crimes, most universities currently use emergency light phones. Emergency light phones are land-line phones which are scattered throughout college campuses and provide students with instant direct access to on-campus security. They allow students to instantaneously contact campus security, helping to improve in school safety.
While these emergency light phones allow women to feel safe at school and prevent sexual assaults, they do not heavily implement breakthrough technologies such as smartphone technology. Therefore, these emergency phones are not nearly as effective at preventing on-campus sexual assault as they could be. More specifically, emergency light phones are land-line phones and are located in fixed-positions on campus. If a woman feels threatened on campus, depending on her location, she may not have immediate access to an emergency light phone and its communication features. This presents a serious accessibility problem to campus police and public safety officials at schools, since women may not be able to reach them adequately during an attack or times of distress.
With the high adoption rate of smartphones among college students, public safety administrators now have an opportunity to implement a more effective emergency light phone solution to prevent sexual assault. For example, Guardly, provides universities with a Safe Campus Program which effectively turns a student’s smartphone into an emergency light phone. If a woman on campus feels threatened they can use Guardly to immediately contact and communicate with on-campus security and police, regardless of their location. Guardly uses GPS, cell-tower location and wifi hotspot locations to ensure the most accurate location positioning possible with your smartphone. When you use your mobile phone to call campus police, they will not know your location. Alternatively, when someone uses a land-line emergency light phone, the on-campus security or police only have access to the location of the phone which was used.
Sexual assaults may occur in many different locations or places on campus, and may include a chase or full-scale abduction, which would mean the victim and attacker would continually change locations. These rapid location changes make it very difficult for authorities to locate the attack when an emergency light phone is used to announce the emergency incident. Guardly solves this problem because it tracks the victim’s location using their smartphone’s GPS functionality and helps campus police to locate the victim regardless of the their location. By taking advantage of mobile technology, Guardly improves in school safety and reduces the number of on-campus sexual assaults by bringing emergency light phones into the 21st century.
Guardly provides mobile safety solutions for reporting and managing enterprise and public safety emergencies.Our safety apps act as personal emergency phones that transmit real-time indoor/GPS location, and provides two-way communication with private security, 911 authorities and safety groups using our real-time platform for emergency incident monitoring, management, communication and response.
- Read our customer campus safety study showing how Guardly helped improve emergency response times by 44% at a school.
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