Trigger warnings: Rape, sexual assault, rape schedule.
MIT graduate Stephan Boyer’s new online service, Kitestring, could prevent your rape.
That might seem shocking. Taking action to prevent your own rape, but it’s something women are expected to do almost every day in little ways – don’t walk down that laneway, don’t go out alone after dark, don’t drink too much – Kitestring, however, is an encouraging take on protecting yourself and taking safety into your own hands.
Boyer himself stated:
I founded Kitestring to keep my girlfriend safe
And maybe in this case, it’s less about the rape schedule and blaming women’s corporeality, than about feeling safe and creating a new safe environment. Especially if, say, you know you’ll be out alone or in a dangerous neighbourhood and you want to take that extra unit of safety into your own hands – without literally taking a weapon – you can just take your mobile.
The service works just as shown above – detail your outing/plans and Kitestring will check in with you at an agreed time. Should you fail to reply, the service will forward on an emergency message to a contact, as shown below.
The premise is simple, and with so many pointless – MyLighter and Seismometer (seriously!?) – and slightly frivilous – Snapchat and Confide – apps and websites available, it’s a welcomed change for women and men who do feel they need the increased security.
There’s always the heightened concern that women are taking the happenstance of their rapes into their own hands. The rape schedule dictates how women should avoid sexual assaults, and frequently, therein, create a vicious circle of self-blame and guilt to which women already dealing with the severe difficulty of rape should not be exposed.
On the other side of the story, however, are the anxious-prone individuals or perhaps those who’ve experienced an assault in the past. If Kitestring helps put this group at ease, allowing them to socialise, communicate, commute, or just exist a little easier then my fingers are crossed that it truly does make a difference.