In spite of increased media attention and higher levels of public education, rates of violent crimes against women continues to increase. In 2012 to 2013, a study found a 40 percent increase of forcible sex offenses against women on college campuses. A terrifying number. But instead of living in fear, Yasmine Mustafa and Anthony Gold decided to try and find a solution to the problem – to help women defend themselves in dangerous situations. Mustafa began “ROAR for Good”, an organization that works to empower women, reduce violent crimes against women and transform society.
Mustafa decided to start ROAR after taking a solo six-month trip across South America. She observed the extremely high prevalence of sexual assaults that the women faced in the communities she visited. Disturbed, she returned home to Philadelphia, where she learned that her neighbor had been violently raped and attacked. She immidiatly began work on her start-up with co-founder and partner, Gold, where they began designing a device that would help to reduce assaults on women.
The device is known as Athena. Named after the Greek goddess, the purpose is to help women live boldly and without fear. The device is shaped like a pendant, is the size of a half-dollar and weighs omly an ounce. It is incredibly inconspicuous and can be carried in the pocket, worn as a necklace or clipped anywhere on the person. When Athena is pressed, it sounds a loud alarm and messages family and friends with the location of the person that pressed it. When Athena is pressed for three seconds, 911 is called and contacts are again alerted of the location of the woman in distress.
ROAR is highly recommended for every woman, ages middle school and up. Women on college campuses especially, who live in unsafe neighborhoods, or who work late at night and feel afraid to walk alone feel much safer with Athena in their purse. Mustafa and Gold believe that assaults against women aren’t issues that only women need to solve – they are issues that our society must work to overcome. ROAR supports organizations that teach young children empathy and responsibility.
ROAR has launched an Indiegogo campaign in hopes of raising $40,000 to bring the device to stores everywhere. With every purchase of a device on Indiegogo, one will be donated to a woman in need. Every two minutes, a woman is attacked in the United States, with this clever new product, ROAR hopes to reduce and maybe even eventually eliminate this number completely.