One day at lunch, recently, a resident at the retirement center where I live was kind enough to compliment me on my play, Woman on the Scarlet Beast, which she’d seen the previous night. Her companion hadn’t attended the performance but was quick to remind me that my small triumph was one which time would obliterate. Though it was an odd remark, I saw no malice in the woman’s expression, only a philosophical wistfulness
That life is nothing if not uncertain is a cliché, but I confess with each surprise I am unguarded, acting as if I’d been tripped for the first time. Happily, there are some precautions a person can take to minimize being ambushed, as least where potential violence exists. Jennifer Baumgardner shares some of them in her article for More magazine. (“The Legacy of Campus Rape,” by Jennifer Baumgardner, More, 2/15 pgs. 113-115) She begins with an historical account of the way rape victims were once treated on college campuses. Looking back, it’s hard to believe there was a time when Yale fraternity boys felt empowered enough to stand outside a women’s dorm chanting, “No means yes; yes mean anal.” (Ibid pg. 114.)
Women still aren’t safe on college campuses, though help for rape victims has improved. Besides changes in school policies that take these attacks seriously, technology exists to provide enhanced safety. A growing number of apps can be download to a smart phone and used during a crisis. For the benefit of women everywhere and especially for coeds, here’s a rundown of some of them.
onwatchoncampus.com – lets the user call friends or 911 with two taps.
Circleof6app.com – easy contact with a friend for a ride, to check in or to signal an emergency
safetrekapp.com – hold down a “safe button”; when released the phone dials the police
myforce.com – one tap sends phone GPS coordinates to a 24/7 live team that contacts authorities.
Despite all I’ve written about NSA’s all seeing eye, sometimes it’s good to know you’re not alone.