Toronto-based Guardly develops mobile applications that broadcast calls for help and connects people to provide assistance in case of emergency. Today, Guardly is announcing a free nationwide service for students, faculty and staff at 67 Canadian universities and colleges across Canada. By simply downloading the Guardly app and registering with a university-issued email address, campus members can hold their own personal code-blue emergency phones, providing one-touch mobile access to campus security from virtually any location on campus. This is the first time that a service of its kind is being made available to Canadian students.
“It was a natural evolution of our technology, to enable a service like this for students,” says Guardly CEO, Josh Sookman. “Given the high prevalence of sexual assault against women and increases in violent acts on some campuses, we feel this innovation should be something provided to students for free. So we’ve done just that!”
Rona Ambrose, the Federal Minister of the Status of Women Canada, has recently shown public interest in taking action against violence against women at Canadian colleges and universities. In November 2011, Ms. Ambrose announced a request for proposals to end violence against women on post-secondary campuses. By empowering each person on campus with a virtual emergency phone to quickly report crimes and other emergencies, Guardly hopes to foster communities on campus that will look out for one another, boost safety awareness and action against crimes. For perpetrators, this is a very scary proposition since anyone within earshot can now report crimes immediately.
Every student, faculty and staff member at the 67 supported universities and colleges across Canada will be eligible to use the free mobile emergency phone service. To register for and use the free service, you must sign up with your post-secondary school-issued email address, which automatically associates your account with your affiliated university or college. Once registered, when using Guardly on-campus to send any emergency alert, you will be connected to campus security by phone. We know when to connect you with campus security by quickly finding your GPS location and determining if you are within the boundaries of the campus. If you are off-campus, Guardly will not connect you with campus security, but will allow you to alert and connect with up to 15 people in your safety group as well as escalate more severe emergencies to 9-1-1.
Guardly is available as a free download on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices.
Guardly is inviting students to join and participate in its Campus Hero Campaign. Joining the Campus Hero Campaign is easy and represents a positive step toward ending violence on Canadian campuses.
By downloading the Guardly app, students can work together as a collective group to take a stand against anybody looking to cause trouble on their campus. By simply sharing a message and encouraging friends to protect themselves and each other, we create vital awareness around violence against women and campus safety. In effect, students are assuming the roles of Campus Heroes.
The Guardly Safe Campus program is a management layer for campus security teams to manage incoming Guardly alerts. Partnering with the Guardly Safe Campus Program gives campus security more visibility into each emergency call on campus including the ability to identify callers, view additional profile information, track caller location in real-time and communicate with emergency callers by voice or instant messaging.