You’re running, you’re on the Springwater trail going out towards Gresham. There’s a lot of encampments and strangers in the leafy brush. You remind yourself that sexual assault or any assault is typically from known persons, people you wouldn’t expect that behavior from. You remind yourself of that, but the feeling is still leering, you’re unsure. Are those footsteps behind you you hear? You press on, the music playing in your headphones, you feel someone running right up behind you – it’s just another runner that obviously moves faster.
You know you’re being paranoid, that it’s fine. You’ll be fine.
As a runner that identifies as a woman, these thoughts have gone through my head whenever I am out on the trail. Yes, I should be fine, but there’s always that “what if?” What if it happened to me? What if I was attacked and there was no one around?
While we know that statistics show that you are more likely to be assaulted by a known person to you – the feeling when you’re “out there” still lingers. What if?
While there have been many laughable products laden in pink and marketed to women to “prevent rape” (I am looking at you anti-rape shorts. No, just no.) there is now a product that is not laughable and really could be beneficial for any human that might find themselves in a dangerous situation where fast reaction was of the utmost importance.
The Whistl iPhone Case has just been launched through Kickstarter and boasts technology I can get behind. Upon potential threat or attack, the user can, with a click of a button, set off an LED flashing light using your iPhone Camera and a high-powered noise alarm which can help to disorient your attacker. Simultaneously, the case uses your iPhone to contact/notify emergency services and friends, as well as, start audio/video recording. Basically with the click with a button your phone does everything it can to help you and just a little bit more.
You may be thinking, “oh well, I don’t want to chance something like that going off in a meeting…” But, the great thing about Whistl is that it is touch sensing, requires a double-tap of two different buttons on the phone, and can be disabled within 15 seconds by entering your own pin number.
What I really like about Whistl is that it has different modes to appropriately fit the situation you are in. There is a check-in mode that will alert family and friends of your choosing with your GPS location and then the app checks on you in five minutes. If you do not respond to that prompt, the police will then be alerted. Panic Mode sets off the alarm and LED light, contacts emergency services, and records audio/video. If you are in a dangerous situation, but you need to remain quiet, you can activate the Stealth Mode and everything will happen except for the LED light and alarm.
The case has the buttons located on the sides and from there uses bluetooth capabilities to connect to your in-phone app.