As part of its ongoing work to encourage Canadians to take action on violence against women and girls, YWCA Canada, the country’s oldest and largest women’s multi-service organization, released the much awaited YWCA Safety Siren app for BlackBerry® smartphones. As part of its suite of anti-violence tools and programming for young women, the Safety Siren is a unique violence prevention and intervention tool, turning your BlackBerry smartphone into a multi-functional safety device.
Created as part of YWCA’s award-winning, signature anti-violence initiative, Power of Being a Girl™, the Safety Siren is available as a free download on BlackBerry® App WorldTM. By pressing the Siren when you are in an unsafe situation, the app sends an emergency SOS email and BBMTM (BlackBerry® Messenger )message while auto dialling a pre-selected friend , displaying your location on a map and geo-connecting you to over 300 resource and crisis centres across Canada. The app also provides amazing information about sexual health, dating and hooking up, tips and facts on safety and essential crisis information. It’s where to go when you want to know!
“We are thrilled to be able expand our growing suite of digital tools for young women’s safety,” says Paulette Senior, YWCA Canada Chief Executive Officer. “Access to information about sexual health, wellness and safety is absolutely essential and girls need it where they live, and they live on their phones.”
Funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program, the Safety Siren is part of a robust set of free tools for young women’s safety that include other apps, zines and a host of online resources as well as programs at YWCA Member Associations across the country.
“What I love best about the Safety Siren for BlackBerry smartphones is that it focuses on making preventative choices about safety before heading out, “says Corinne Rusch-Drutz, YWCA Canada Director of Communications & Membership Development. “It’s really exciting to harness the safety potential of the BBM functionality, allowing young women who have downloaded the app to instantly connect with their networks. It also gives them access to sexual health information where, when and how they need it, which is an important part of being able to look out for yourself. The YWCA Safety Siren lives on your BlackBerry and goes where you go, answering some of the tough questions you might not be willing to ask your friends or family or look up on a shared computer. It’s your own private gateway to a library of women’s resources, from sexual harassment to STIs.”
In addition to giving straightforward information on relevant sexual health and wellness issues, the app geo-locates users with maps and directions to over 300 resource centres across Canada by topic or proximity including local YWCAs, emergency hotlines, health clinics and crisis centres. It’s a one stop shop for healthy dating and it’s free.
For more information about the Safety Siren or YWCA Canada please visit www.ywcacanada.ca,