The newly introduced app, “I Am Not Alone,” offers women in Juarez, Mexico a way to contact loved ones and friends in cases of emergencies by shaking their cell phone to initiate contact.
"Wherever you have cell phone coverage, you can use the app," said Miguel David Diaz de Leon, technology and communications director for Juarez City Hall.
The city's app avoids the need for data, sending emergency messages through as text and embedding a link to the victim’s location to a list of contacts. Contacts will receive a continual stream of messages for up to 10 minutes until the alert is deactivated.
"For my daughters who are away from home, at school or where something could happen, it's faster for them to communicate, not just with me but anyone else," Patricia Palma, a Juarez resident told AFP.
Over 1,500 femicides occurred in Juarez in the 1990s, earning the Mexican city the name “the capital of murdered woman,” which it has attempted to shake ever since with the number of deaths decreasing annually. However, statistics show the crisis continues, with official reports stating seven women were killed every day between 2013 and 2014.
Since the beginning of 2017, there have already been over 130 cases of femicide in the State of Mexico and the number of disappearances remains high with 54 cases reported last year and another 17 occurring this year.
“It also speaks to the context, on the part of woman, to be able to count on these types of tools with these types of devices to strengthen our network and send an alert when we are in a potentially dangerous situation,” said Itzel Gonzalez, a member of Woman’s Network of Juarez.
Released only a week ago, the app has already received over 13,000 downloads as well as 100 more in the United States. “I Am Not Alone” is currently only available to Android users, but the city reported there are developments underway for other phone types.