Meet Athena, the snazzy wearable that’s going to stop violence against women.
There are plenty of moments in life when your safety’s put into question—walking home in the dark, waiting for your ride to show, or getting separated from your sig-o during a trip. And while there are plenty of ways to feel safe, they usually involve changing your lifestyle in ways that quash your fears, but limit your opportunities.
According to the UN, one in three women experience physical or sexual violence, and according to The Boston Globe, reports of campus sexual assaults have increased by 40 percent. (Not cool universe, not cool at all.) Luckily, a new wearable aims to change all that: Athena is described as “smart, fashionable jewelry” specifically designed to stop violence against women.
This sleek wearable is the size of a half dollar and comes in three colors: timeless black, antique silver, and rose gold. It’s designed to be worn around your neck like a pendant, or you can attach it to your clothing or purse using a magnetic clasp. Athena has been carefully crafted to make sure you don’t trigger the alarm by accident. Bonus: The device only weighs an ounce!
The magnetic clip itself is equipped with Bluetooth and an activation button. Pressing the button for three seconds triggers Alarm Mode, which produces an 85-decibel pulsating alarm and flashing LED lights. Athena also syncs with a smartphone app that sends text messages to your emergency contacts to let them know you’re in danger and exactly where you are. Being that the alarm wouldn’t be the best approach for every scenario, pressing the button three times triggers Silent Mode, which won’t sound the alarm, but will still notify your loved ones that you’re in trouble.
ROAR, the company behind Athena, has big plans for this product, including a feature that would allow an automated 911 call to be placed when the button is pressed. As the technology evolves, the company hopes to embed the device directly into items like clothing, footwear, and phone cases for even greater flexibility.
“We don’t want to just put a bandaid on the problem,” the company writes on its Indiegogo page. “In addition to the jewelry, we are committed to getting to the root causes of these attacks. That’s why for every Athena device purchased, we are investing a percentage of proceeds into non-profits that are teaching young boys and young girls about empathy and healthy relationships. Programs like these have been shown to reduce violence in adulthood.”
To make this a reality, ROAR has partnered with The One Love Foundation, where 10 percent of the proceeds from the company’s Indiegogo campaign will go towards raising awareness about the warning signs of abuse and helping end relationship violence. And thanks to its one-for-one model, for every Athena device purchased, one will be donated to a woman in need.
Ironically, ROAR’s ultimate goal is to make the Athena device obsolete one day: “Our team is dedicated to creating a world where everyone can live their lives boldly and without fear.” Clearly, the company’s mission to stop violence against women is one many of us share, because its goal to raise $40,000 was met and then some: So far, ROAR has raised over $270,000 through their Indiegogo campaign, with the first batch of Athena devices to be shipped out in May 2016. Girl power!
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