There are lots of useful apps and phone settings that can offer help, support, and/or a way to record what’s happening to you if you’re experiencing gender-based violence or your personal safety is at risk.
Remember, if you’re in immediate danger call 999.
Please remember to only download these apps if it is safe to do so and you are sure that your phone isn’t being monitored.
Hollie Guard App
This app can turn your phone into a personal safety device, whether you’re meeting someone new, travelling alone or going about your day-to-day life. With a simple shake or tap the app becomes activated and can notify chosen contacts, pinpoint your location and record audio and video evidence.
There are two modes to the app; deterrent mode and stealth mode. Deterrent mode aims to make it clear to anyone in your surrounding area that an alarm has been raised and therefore to reduce the risk of an attack. In this mode, the phone screen will turn red and it will capture your GPS location, as well as audio and video footage. If you shake your screen in this mode, it will set of a high-pitched alarm and a flashing light to get attention.
In stealth mode, an alert is raised but silently. Therefore, the home screen stays the same and no one would no you have activated the app. This mode is helpful if you are in a situation where raising an alert could increase the risk of harm.
The app is free, but you can pay for additional monitoring which can give you access to a dedicated emergency response team.
Follow It App
If you’re dealing with stalking or harassment, then you can record the incidents in the app creating a log of stalking incidents. The app has been created by the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre and is tailored to Scots Law but can be helpful even if you decide you don’t want to report something to the police.
The app will help you record what’s happening no matter where you are, creating a log for each incident with prompts to help you keep notes of important details. You can also add video content, photos and screenshots.
Once you’ve uploaded details to the app, you can delete them from your phone as they are stored on a secure server for when you need them. You can then request a full report of your incidents from the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre whenever you need it. If you decide to report to the police, this incident report means the police are less likely to take your phone as evidence.
If you’re aged 18 or older and live in Scotland, you can download the app. You will just need to complete a short form on the Follow It website.
Bright Sky App
This is a free app for anyone that is experiencing domestic abuse and has a range of tools to support you. It allows users to record domestic abuse through photos, text, audio or video without any content being saved on your device. It also includes information about how to spot domestic abuse, advice on how to support someone if you have concerns and ways to find help. The app contains access to a UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse services with contact details.
The app was developed by the domestic abuse charity Hestia, in partnership with Vodafone.
SOS & Emergency Features on Smartphones
iPhone and Android phones have SOS emergency features that can help you in an emergency when they’ve been set up.
To set this up on your phone, search ‘emergency SOS’. Different phones have different set ups but on most models, you will have the opportunity to set up emergency contacts who will be sent your location when you use a certain activation (for example, pressing the on/off button a certain number of times), on some phones this will also attach images taken from both your front and rear cameras.
To find out how to set up an emergency SOS on your phone, click on the relevant link below:
You might also want to consider setting up your medical ID. This can be important in the case of an emergency because medical responders can look at your phone and know any allergies or medical conditions you have and know who to contact for you without unlocking your phone. For more information on how to set this up, click on the relevant link below: