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Following mass concern for women’s safety after the alleged murder of Sarah Everard, many people are sharing a little-known smart phone feature that lets you send an emergency SOS alarm without having to dial 000.

If you press your lock button five times in a row, your phone admits a loud siren, counts to three and then calls emergency services. Your phone will also send a text to emergency contacts letting them know of your situation and location.

However, it seems to just be available on the iPhone at the moment.

Newer models of the iPhone can also access the feature when powering off. You’ll see the usual power off slide option, and just underneath is an emergency SOS slide option that will do the same thing.

To make sure you have this setting turned on, head to your settings and search ‘Emergency SOS’ to set it up.

Another useful tool that I personally use is ‘Find My Friends’, which is also pre-installed on the iPhone in the ‘Find My’ app. This app allows you to constantly share your location with your friends, or share it for a period of time. Whenever I am out at night, I let a friend know and they make sure to check my location to see if I’ve made it home safely.

There are also a number of third-party apps like bSafe, Noonlight and Companion. Although be warned, I used to use one of these apps when I first started going out and walking home late, and it would text my parents at 3am when I was home safe (when they didn’t actually know I was out.)

Of course, all these measures put the onus on the woman, when the onus should be on men not to rape and murder. But hopefully these steps can help make women feel just a little bit safer.


Help is available. 

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online

Have something on your mind? You can reach out to BeyondBlue at 1300 22 4636 or  chat online.

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.

Image: Getty Images / Chesnot