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This free safety app lets domestic violence victims secretly call for help during lockdowns

Users can silently SMS chat with professional monitors or discreetly set off an alarm.

This free safety app lets domestic violence victims secretly call for help during lockdowns
[Photo: Kristijan Arsov/Unsplash]

ADT is releasing its SoSecure mobile safety app for free, providing a possible lifeline for people suffering domestic violence.

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[Image: courtesy of ADT]
The app includes a number of features particularly helpful to people managing abusers. SoSecure allows users to:

  • Silently SMS chat with ADT’s 24/7 professional monitors
  • Discreetly trigger an emergency alarm, which allows ADT to pinpoint the user’s GPS coordinates (which 911 dispatchers cannot always do)
  • Designate family or friends to receive alerts when the alarm is triggered
  • Preset a time period, after which emergency contacts will be notified if the user is unresponsive

[Image: courtesy of ADT]
Domestic violence activity during the lockdowns may be especially horrific. Victims may be unable to reach out to authorities or helplines while in close quarters with abusers. A report by the Marshall Project last week noted that the number of reported incidents is down, but that domestic violence is always difficult to track, and that “stay-at-home orders, historic unemployment and other social factors related to the pandemic can make victims even less likely to call, which means public statistics may not represent what is actually happening in homes across the country.”

ADT piloted SoSecure earlier this year and is rolling it out for free during the pandemic. ADT will be adding paid premium features in the coming months, but the basic functionalities will remain free.

Last year, Rachel Louise Snyder’s No Visible Bruises, a highly readable primer on domestic violence in America, was a New York Times Top Ten Notable Book of the year for 2019, and a National Book Critics Circle awards finalist. Recommended.

ADT SoSecure is available for iOS and Android.

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