● 240 million¹ 9-1-1 calls are made every year in the U.S.; over 70%² are from mobile phones, which fail to provide exact location to emergency dispatchers
● 40% of teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 17 report knowing someone who has been hit, slapped or pushed by a romantic partner³
● Haven represents a transformation in access to emergency services – from a phone call solely dependent on voice to a robust data connection for voice, text, medical/demographic data FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Somerville, MA (October 17, 2016)
RESPOND today announced a partnership with RapidSOS, an advanced emergency technology start-up revolutionizing personal safety and family connectivity. The partnership will offer one year of free access to the RapidSOS Haven app, providing individuals with enhanced access to emergency services. Haven sends important data to 9-1-1 in a discreet way that does not necessitate a spoken conversation with first responders. With one tap on Haven, the app connects the user with the nearest dispatch center anywhere in the contiguous U.S., while providing a voice connection and a data pipeline to 9-1-1, to transmit:
● Text messages (Haven speaks the text message if the dispatch center does not have the capability to receive texts. Currently works one-way, caller to dispatcher.)
● GPS location
● Type of emergency
● Relevant medical and demographic data
Haven’s “Can’t Speak” function allows users to notify 9-1-1 when they are in a situation where it is dangerous or difficult to speak. When a user taps “Can’t Speak,” their location and relevant information is automatically transmitted to the dispatcher, without the need for an audible conversation. Additionally, a user can optionally add emergency contacts to be informed when an alert is triggered.
Working together, RapidSOS and RESPOND will support the survivors of abuse, improve personal security, and empower individuals facing emergency situations.
“RESPOND provides life-saving services and we’re ready to support them in this important work by ensuring that the Haven app is available to survivors and individuals at risk, ” said RapidSOS co-founder and CEO Michael Martin. “We are committed to supporting the RESPOND community and making sure our technology is in the hands of everyone who needs it.”
“It is vital that survivors of domestic abuse can reach emergency help as quickly as possible when they are at risk,” said Jessica Brayden, Executive Director of RESPOND. “Haven’s “Can’t Speak” mode is especially valuable for people in dangerous situations, so they can reach help discreetly and communicate with 9-1-1 nonverbally.”
The Haven app also includes access to RapidSOS’ Family Connect feature. For the first time, people can call 9-1-1 on behalf of a loved one, transmitting their loved one’s location and relevant data directly to the dispatch center closest to them. Additionally, Family Connect allows users to share their location with loved ones, see family members’ real-time locations without the distraction of a phone call or text, and easily and discreetly ask family and friends for help. A user has the power to choose who can see their location and when it is shared, ensuring privacy and control.
RapidSOS is offering Haven free to those associated with RESPOND for a 1-year period, if they sign up for the app here: http://www.rapidsos.com/referrals/respond. The Haven app is available for iPhone and Android devices and works anywhere across the contiguous U.S. and Hawaii, with one touch emergency calling in over 250 countries and jurisdictional territories. For more information about RapidSOS and the Haven app, visit www.rapidsos.com.
RapidSOS was formed in 2012 by a team of M.I.T., Harvard, and Stanford grad students who had personal experiences with the challenges of the existing emergency communication infrastructure. Working closely with the 9-1-1 community, tech and telecom companies, and leading investors, RapidSOS is developing technology to predict and preempt emergencies before they occur, dynamically warn people in harm’s way, and ensure that first responders are one touch away globally. Learn more at www.RapidSOS.com
RESPOND partners with individuals, families and communities to end the serious public health issue of domestic violence. RESPOND strives to achieve its mission through prevention, intervention, education services that promote safe, healthy relationships. RESPOND’s crisis hotline is 617-623-5900 and is answered by a trained counselor 24 hours a day.
1 National Emergency Number Association. http://www.nena.org/?page=911Statistics
2 National 911 Program. Review of Nationwide 911 Data Collection. http://www.911.gov/pdf/current911datacollection-072613.pdf
3 RESPOND, Inc. https://www.respondinc.org/teen-dating-violence/