New website hopes to help lower risk of sexual assault

Thursday, May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Pentagon released new numbers about sexual assault in the military. Last year there were more than 5,000 reports of military sex assaults. That number is up 50 percent. The White House says the surge means more victims are coming forward.

These numbers come the same week as the Obama administration released a new report that 1 in 5 female college students is a victim of sexual assault. The CDC goes one step further, saying 1 in 5 women will experience rape or attempted rape at some point in their lives.

The problem of sexual assault hits close to home. Since October, Safe Homes of Augusta has helped nearly 1,000 teens involved in dating violence. We're on your side with details about a new website that could help your mothers, daughters, and sisters from becoming a victim.

It's called KiteString.

It's an app designed to help alert a friend if you might be in trouble. If you're leaving work, maybe walking home from a party, all you have to do is tell the KiteString app what time you should be home. If you haven't checked in by that time, it will send a message to your emergency contact.

The message will say something like, 'Hey this is Laura, I'm going out for a walk, if you get this, I might not have made it back safely.'

It's an app that could help domestic violence victims too. Aimee Hall, Executive Director of SafeHomes Augusta says, "They could even put our number in, notify SafeHomes, Hey I'm on my way. If I'm not there in 30 minutes, we could call police and give the location of where she could be."

"Sometimes it takes 7 to 9 times that a woman actually attempts to leave before she's successful at it," Michelle Schott said.

And leaving can be really dangerous for women. Michelle Schott knows firsthand, because she tried to escape a violent relationship for 18 years.

"On our wedding day, after we got married, he ripped my arm up behind my back and told me never ever to do something ever again, and that's when it started," she said.

Which is why she's begging women to create a safety plan, and get out of the violent relationship they may be living in before it's too late.

"You can never predict what somebody will do. That's why this app is so wonderful because it allows you to go ahead and make a plan ahead of time."

The app is free. Just click here to sign up. It's web based, so you can access it from any phone or computer with internet.

For the 24 Hour Crisis Hotline offered by SafeHomes:1-800-33-HAVEN(1-800-334-2836) or 1-800-799-SAFE

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