Feeling Safe Using the Companion app by our founder Gwen Washington

Feeling Safe Using the Companion app by our founder Gwen Washington

As a rape survivor people think that once the act of rape has been done and years have passed you suddenly are cured. The real struggle begins as time passes and you experience what I like to call aftershocks of triggers. A trigger is anything that can make you feel a sense of panic, or terror taking you back to the same place as the rape. Personally, I have always had triggers to due the violent nature of my attack and the use of a trusting relationship. The feeling of being safe I have never felt in any city or honestly with any person after my assault.

It becomes a challenge wondering when to open up and trust individuals. Normally, before I leave my home I call, text or message a friend or family member just so they know where I am going and more importantly who I am with. This had been my routine even in my college years ago and I continue it to this day. However, before my assault I only used this system when walking or going out to unknown places and meeting strangers. I never thought about it with someone I knew and trusted especially in the well to do area of The Hamptons. Being held captive, raped, and tortured for hours by an individual that I trusted and considered a friend caused me to reevaluate how to keep safe in my life.  I wished with my whole heart that I had a way to reach out for help it would have saved me and years of physical and mental pain. With the growth in technology many companies are trying to find ways to stop crime with some simply for money, and others truly to help people before it’s too late. One amazing company is the Companion app it’s truly a lifesaver. Normally I try not to personally endorse a product yet this one and their founders struck a deep chord with me. I actually had a recent incident where I used the app while traveling home from the train.

The app was started by 5 students from University of Michigan with the mission to increase safety on college campuses. Companion app is easy and free to use simply download the app from either the play or ios store to your phone. The app ensures that you don’t have to walk home alone allowing friends and family to keep track of your journey. The app tracks your journey if the individual does not make it or goes off course the app asks if you are ok, if no response is given within 15 seconds their contacts are notified. It also has the option to click I feel nervous whether walking or already at a location. Of Course if necessary there is an option to contact 911  with one click on the app.  We are honored to partner with Companion app and look forward to their improvements with their app and making all college communities safe. For more information please check out their website http://www.companionapp.io/

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