6 Apps To Keep On Your Phone In Case Of An Emergency

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Even though it shouldn't feel this way, being a woman in public can sometimes feel very unsafe. Research conducted by Cornell University in 2015 found that 85 percent of women in the United States have experienced street harassment before the age of 18. Recently, a safety app for women produced by PLAN International, called Unsafe In The City, looked at five cities in 2018 — Delhi, Sydney, Kampala, Lima, and Madrid — and had women pin particular places where they'd felt unsafe onto city maps. But beyond gathering data about dangerous spaces, there are also many apps that might be able to help us band together and get home safely.

Walking home alone at night, going out with a stranger, exploring an unknown place, getting lost — all are situations in which women have felt vulnerable. We all have our tips and tricks if we think we're be may be in a dangerous situation: sticking to brightly lit places with people around, calling a friend, walking with our keys between our knuckles. Apps that hope to make women safe take various different approaches, but many are based on the idea that your phone can be your lifeline. Make sure you keep it fully charged and get these apps to keep yourself safe.

Circle Of 6

Free for Android and iPhone

Circle Of 6 lets you pick six trusted connections (friends, parents, partners) and allows you to text them various preset messages about your safety and wellbeing. One, under a pin icon, sends a distress message together with your GPS coordinates so that somebody can come pick you up.


Free for Android and iPhone

The Hollaback app is about collecting evidence of street harassment to provide proof to worldwide authorities about the extent of the problem. It takes your location and lets you give details about how you were harassed or what you witnessed happening to somebody else.


Free for Android

This clever app gives you a variety of ways to call for help in subtle ways: tapping the power button four times, for instance, or shaking the phone. Both will send emergency messages to a contact, and it can also record audio and video of what's happening.


Free for Android and iPhone

OnWatch is an award-winning app that connects you with a selection of different emergency contacts, including campus police for college students and 911, in case of emergency. It also has a timer feature for a walk home; after the timer expires, it asks you to check in, and if you don't, it sends out alerts with your GPS location.


Free for Android and iPhone

BSafe is one of the most comprehensive safety apps for women. It involves an SOS system that can be activated by touch or simply your voice saying a key phrase, live-streams and records whatever emergency you're in, sends your location to your "guardians" along with the audio and video, and has a timer alarm and a siren built in.

Safe And The City

Free for Android and iPhone

Safe And The City combines many different ideas into one. It operates as a reporting device for street harassment, allowing users to pin where they've experienced something awful. It also shows "safe spaces" for people who feel unsafe to hide, and allows easy connection with emergency contacts when it's needed. It's currently only available for London, UK, but is in an expansion phase.


Whether you're going out for a jog or headed off on a blind date, it's never a bad idea to make sure you've got every safety box checked. If you do have a safety app, ensure your emergency contacts know what's going on and how to react if they receive an alert.