WE SAFE APP
The App that can save your life!
“The greatest satisfaction was being interviewed on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Knowing that this App is an asset in combating violence against women has filled me with pride."

Stefania, tell us briefly about yourself.
Asking a Sicilian to tell "briefly" anything is a tough challenge, given our slight tendency to be baroque! Let's say that, like a good islander, I immediately felt the need to travel and know the world. Thanks to a Fulbright scholarship I got a Master’s degree in the US, and always thanks to my studies and work I had the good fortune to live in Switzerland, America, Netherlands, England, Russia and Israel. Now I deal with political risk analysis and communication and by the time I am in Italy!

Why and when did you decide to realize We-safe app?
We Safe is based on a personal experience. During a business trip in Lebanon I found myself being followed and harassed by a man who followed me on a bus I had taken just to get rid of him, without success. Only thanks to the help of the other bus passengers, who stood for me, that man decided to get off and leave me alone. In that case I was lucky and the experience helped me realize how a "network" of people caring, in my case the passengers of a bus in Beirut, can become the first effective means of help if in danger. Hence the idea of ​​We Safe: a network of loved ones that come for you if you need them.

How did you find funding for your App?
The app was funded thanks to a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. I was particularly proud to have reached my goal and to have overcome it. In the end, I raised the 125% of the funds requested. Even more importantly, it was thanks to the donation of an American Marine that I could reach my funding goal. That made me particularly proud because such a donation represented an endorsement of my idea of security and made me understand my app can be truly useful if in danger. Who better than an American marine can say something about security, no?

Can you explain how it works and when it can be used?
It's a simple app. By tapping on the icon of the App, a timer will activate. After few seconds the App will automatically send a text message with a standard phrase like “HELP” or “HELP ME” and your GPS coordinates to the preselected contacts on your IOS and Android phones. In the App settings, you can change the list of contacts to whom sending the text message, add new numbers if you are abroad, and change the duration of the timer.
 
Can you illustrate some features of the App?
The most important is certainly the automatic text sending function that allows you to ask for help within seconds. Equally important is the function "where I am", that locates you in case you are confused and did not understand where you are.

Are you planning to involve NGOs, associations, etc.?
I am planning to organize meetings through and in women centres and associations, in associations against bullying, in schools and maybe even in elderly centres. That’s because We Safe can be useful for all these type of users. It is therefore important that it is known as much as possible.

Are you receiving a positive feedback from the community?
Absolutely. Both in terms of download and users’ feedbacks. The App was featured on the Italian national news channel (Rai) and in different magazines. 


    

The greatest satisfaction was being interviewed on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Knowing that this App is an asset in combating violence against women has filled me with pride.

Can We-safe app be used abroad? In how many languages is translated?
We Safe can be used anywhere. The list of contacts to alert can always be edited so that, when abroad, you can send an SOS to a local friend and, in some countries, even to the police. For now, We Safe is available only in Italian and English. However, it soon will be translated into Spanish and French.

Are you planning to enrich the app with additional features?
Yes. I am working with my developer to make the app even more functional. I believe that its keystone is its speed and immediacy in launching the SOS. But I would like to do more, so that even this step will become unnecessary. Perhaps with voice activation.

I read that you have supported the campaign to end violence against women in Italy, do you think your app can help to raise awareness on this issue?
I cannot deny that violence against women was my first concern when I imagined We Safe. In the midst of violence, a woman often cannot or do not want to ask for help in more conventional ways. The fact that We Safe activates with a simple click and immediately sends a help request to your friends, makes the entire process much faster and, in the case of violence against women, can break down that first wall of diffidence and embarrassment that often prevents a woman to ask for help.

Is We-safe app a tool that can be used by recipients other than women?
It is an app useful for everyone. And that's why I wanted it to be free to download. Can help the elderly, maybe if they are alone at home, in case of illness. But also, children who are lost, or adults who have had an accident or feel in danger. It is useful to anyone who is in panic and does not have the time, clarity or strength to ask for help in more conventional ways, for example with a phone call.

What can be done to end violence against women?  
We live in angry times, and machismo is one of the many faces that assume.
Change is not an easy path. You must understand that if I get something, in this case as a woman more rights and independence, I do not take anything away from you. It is not a zero-sum game. But to make this message be received and assimilated we must begin immediately: in schools, not only high schools, but since 1st grade. The sooner the better to make it clear that strength does not mean physical violence. And that there is a big difference between fear and respect.
 
What are your goals for the future?

I am working to ensure that the App will become even more useful by adding and improving its functionality. Similarly, in the spring I will start a small tour in schools and among associations against any kind of violence to discuss about We Safe and make it known to a wider audience of users. Although I hope no one will ever need it, knowing that my app might help even just one person, well, it will be for me a great success.
Stefania Coco Scalisi
Founder of We Safe App
 

WE SAFE APP: "A network of loved ones, for everyone and everywhere"

Contact Stefania Coco Scalisi if you want to learn more about the App at: ​s.cocoscalisi@gmail.com