Mobile app aims to protect users from sexual assault

People will be able to get relevant prevention and service information sent directly to their cell phones

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Sexual assault victims are left with many long-term mental health ramifications, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, flashbacks and triggers says Andrea Gunraj, spokesperson for Metropolitan Action Committee on Public Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC).

METRAC will be launching an application for all device platforms later this semester. Anyone can subscribe to and download the app, which will launch on Nov. 25 and provide critical support and information to people who have been sexually assaulted.

“The whole idea behind this app is that we will help people understand where the risks really are and give them those resources, support, education and information,” Gunraj said. “Mainly to help them know the balance that, yes, ‘stranger danger’ can happen, but really, you have to think about your workplace, your community, your place of worship, all those things you have to know the warning signs of, and this app will help.”

Gunraj clarified that the app aims to raise awareness about the resources available to victims of assault because a lot of people simply do not know. In addition to information about sexual assault services, prevention information will also be sent to subscribers.

The app will be run by METRAC staff who will gather information from the police, other app users within the community and sexual assault services, explained Gunraj.

Some of the main services she believes should be taken advantage of through the METRAC app is the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Family Services of Toronto, David Kelly Services, and the Fred Victor Centre. The Rape Crisis Centre, she noted, is free, anonymous and you can call at anytime.

“I think that it’s really an excellent service that is available to people,” Gunraj said.

Gunraj went on to say that we all have a responsibility to stop sexual violence because often there is someone looking on, or someone who sees a warning sign and doesn’t do anything.

“All of us who see sexual violence happening, we need to know the warning signs to see when somebody needs our support.”

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Mobile app aims to protect users from sexual assault