SafeUp: How one app is helping women feel safe in London

Safe Places StickerSafeUP is an app which connects women who feel unsafe on the streets to nearby trained women (guardians) who are willing to accompany them.

SafeUP is a social network which enables women to use the SafeUP app when they feel unsafe, encounter any real or potential danger, and require support, guidance, or physical assistance. SafeUP strengthens the sense of security of women and girls in public spaces by ensuring that every woman feels safe by connecting them quickly and effectively with nearby trained women guardians. The Community Members of SafeUp know that there are always other women looking after them, and are immediately available if required.

A SafeUP guardian is a woman who has undergone the SafeUP training process: When a SafeUP community member feels insecure, she can open her app to see the countless number of guardians in her area available to assist where necessary via telephone, video, or by physical accompaniment. The app will connect the community member to 2-3 nearest available women guardians who will escort and support the community member in need.

SafeUp is now launching a new initiative called Safe Places – where pubs across London undergo staff training on assisting women who feel unsafe in public places by the SafeUP team.

65 pubs that have joined the initiative so far have been marked by a Safe Place window sticker so women can identify their status when walking by and enter if feeling unsafe.

Women who are walking down the London streets and feel unsafe can open the SafeUP app and see on the map, alongside guardians, Safe Places which they can enter and feel safe in.

Here at WeAreTheCity we spoke to two of the Safe Places involved in the scheme – The Camden Eye and The Looking Glass Pub. Find out why they are involved below.

The Camden Eye

The Camden Eye

A historic Camden boozer serving great craft beer, classic and wicked cocktails, boasting Camden’s best private function room.
 
2 Kentish Town Rd,
London
NW1 9NX
 

Why are you supporting the SafeUp initiative?

As a venue we feel it is important for us to do everything we can to maximise our customers safety and SafeUp offers a great community driven support network which allows women to feel safer in our area.

Have you seen a need for support tools (such as SafeUp) for women?

Yes definitely. Camden especially has a lot of interesting characters which at times can be scary for any type of person. Any extra support is always welcome.

What more can be done to help women feel safe?

More support from local councils, well lit areas, night tube, and more access to support networks such as SafeUp.

The Looking Glass Pub

Looking Glass Pub

A buzzing cocktail club, in Shoreditch’s undiscovered Hackney Road, with a ‘secret’ speakeasy drinking den, mesmerising cocktail list and awesome DJs!
 
49 Hackney Rd,
Shoreditch
London
E2 7NX
 

Why are you supporting the SafeUp initiative?

At Looking Glass Cocktail Club, making our customers feel safe and comfortable is one of our top priorities. We understand the dangers that women face and want to do all we can to help.

We want our female customers to know that this is a venue that supports women, and wants them to be able to fully enjoy all aspects of a night out without any worries or fears for their safety.

If being a part of the SafeUp initiative helps to protect even one person, then our support is a no-brainer.

Have you seen a need for support tools (such as SafeUp) for women?

As a late night venue, we are very aware of the risks to our female customers.

We’ve had an incident before where a woman asked to come into the venue as she believed she was being followed. Our staff stayed with her until she felt safe.

We have a supportive team at Looking Glass who are trained to respond to and act on any distress.

Having the SafePlace sticker on our door hopefully provides any passerby with peace of mind that their local community is looking out for them.

What more can be done to help women feel safe?

More venues joining the SafeUp initiative and growing the community. We are proud members of the local community, and we want Shoreditch to be a safe space.

We do not believe that it is the duty of women to ensure their safety.

The responsibility of ensuring women feel safe is down to men, that should be taught from a young age.

In an ideal world, there would be no use for tools like this, women would be safe from harassment on the streets, that is something we hope for in the future.

SafeUP Promotional Pic (1)

Neta Schreiber founded the company following a personal incident that happened ten years ago.

Neta went with some friends to a house party. At some point she noticed that she could not find one of her friends and together with another friend they started looking for her. While searching, Neta heard her friend’s screams from one of the rooms. Neta opened the door and saw her friend half naked in a fight with two guys above her. As soon as the men noticed that Neta and another friend entered the room they ran away. Neta’s arrival with her group of friends changed the whole situation showing there is strength in numbers.

Enter SafeUP.

One year ago Neta founded the SafeUP app which women use when they feel unsafe, encounter any real (or potential) danger, and require support, guidance, or physical assistance.

SafeUp is here in order to unite women under the common goal of mutual protection and safety. We need to make sure that women will not avoid any activities and will not feel scared. Every woman needs to feel that she is in control of her destiny: walking down a dark alleyway without fear; going on a date without anxiety; dancing in a nightclub, or even simply going on a walk late at night.

Neta SchrieberCEO & Co-Founder, SafeUp
SafeUP logo Horizontal Purple
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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