Two new innovative tools have been designed that can protect individuals from becoming a victim of violence—and they’re free, or nearly so.
My Mobile Witness is a unique free personal protection service that allows anyone to create an account that stores text messages and photos in a secure location that can only be opened by a subpoena or an order from a police officer or law enforcement agency. So how does it work?
You’ve set up an account, which is your telephone number at www.mymobilewitness.com. You sense an uneasy or potentially threatening situation—say you’re followed by an unknown or unwelcomed person, or you’re meeting with someone you don’t know. (The service was originally developed for real estate agents showing empty homes to strangers.) Take your cell phone and snap a picture of the person or situation that’s causing you to think twice, and message it to My Mobile Witness. Or send a text message.
Users can utilize the service as leverage if or when someone later becomes inappropriate with them without telling the subject they are sending a photo or note, says inventor Marcus Anthony. Some users tell the stranger they are taking his or her photo in case they are not who they purport to be so in the event of any wrongdoing the police can I.D. them/their car/license plate, and date, time, and location with the sender.
“If something happened that you went missing law enforcement is allowed in,” Anthony says. “If a police officer calls in and says, ‘I’m working a missing person’s case and her friend says she has an account,’ first we vet him, and then check the vault location.” What if you feel genuinely threatened? Covertly send their photo or tap out a text to My Mobile Witness. Any threat to make you delete it is useless. It can’t be deleted, or altered. If you’re harmed, they’re identified.
The My Mobile Witness personal protection service should never be used in place of 911, Anthony says. Anything sent to your vault is for future law enforcement use. If you need immediate help, or if you see a crime taking place, call 911.
The service works with older model cell phones, and the newer smart phones. Visit their website to complete their easy sign up process.
Check out a video about My Mobile Witness here:
The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA) servers as a tool for those who are already an unfortunate victim of abuse and violence. The system in place to help you “is far from perfect,” says renowned violence expert Susan Murphy Milano. She began a career investigating cases and advocating for victims in 1989 after she discovered the bodies of her decorated Chicago Police father and her mother, whom murdered with his service weapon before killing himself. She has written books to help those who can’t afford the cost of an investigator.
Murphy Milano is the creator of the ground-breaking EAA for victims who sense they might be injured or killed. The EAA can provide vital information that can aid in the suspect’s arrest if a victim is harmed. Creating an EAA also puts perpetrators on notice. Her latest book, Time’s Up: How to Escape Abusive and Stalking Relationships Guide, gives instructions on how to create an EAA, and provides the legal forms to accompany it.
The EAA process can be done by victims or by first line responders such as law enforcement, domestic violence agencies, emergency rooms, therapists, or other professionals. Visit the ‘Document the Abuse’ website for information. See a video of an EAA here:
Too often the scenario for victims of abuse is: Your family and friends tell you to report the abuse to police, but police say they can’t do anything unless the abuser does something they can prove, like break a bone—or murder. You want to leave but you need to make a safety plan, a daunting task. It can mean arranging to stay with family or friends, or moving to transitional shelter care if a bed is open. You face the maze of documenting the evidence for a restraining order. Time’s Up is a complete step-by-step guide that explains how to secretly make a plan, set up a safe escape, deal with financial issues, and handle paperwork.