Protecting Women at the Paris Games: The Role of Apps and Partnerships in Combating Violence

Could mobile apps serve as a defense against street harassment?

During the Paris Games, women may experience stress in poorly lit streets, empty subway cars or crowded areas filled with excited fans. To address this concern, several apps are being developed to help women feel safer and facilitate police intervention. One such app is The Sorority, created in 2020 exclusively for women, which allows users to alert the 50 closest people with their GPS position in case of danger. Other women in the area receive notifications and can respond by providing assistance or contacting the police if necessary.

These apps have become a vital tool for women like Maja and Emma who have faced dangerous situations. The Sorority, with 90,000 verified users, has recently partnered with law enforcement to improve response times and assist users in distress. Similarly, Come has compiled a list of “safe places” where individuals can seek refuge if they feel threatened. This collaboration with law enforcement and the establishment of safe spaces aims to ensure the safety and well-being of users during events like the Olympic Games.

Experts like sociologist Williams Nuytens emphasize the potential for increased inappropriate behavior during large events like the Olympics, which can be exacerbated by factors such as alcohol consumption. Recognizing this prevalence of sexual assaults against women, the French Ministry of the Interior highlights the importance of initiatives like Come in addressing safety concerns during major events. By working with organizations like the Olympic Games Committee and volunteers these apps aim to raise awareness and provide support to individuals facing aggression and violence.

As we approach the Paris Games, promoting safety and preventing violence against women remains crucial. These apps play a vital role by leveraging technology and partnerships with law enforcement to empower women and create a safer environment for all during major events like these games.

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