SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. – After suffering a traumatic experience at the young age of 11, Mercedes Molloy, is hoping to prevent what happened to her from happening to others.
Molloy was sexually assaulted eight years ago. She says she struggled for years to come to terms with what happened, but she’s not letting it define her.
“I was raped at a young age. That really affected me for a long time. I struggled to come to terms with it and struggled to find solace. For me, the best thing I could do for myself or anyone else was to be able to come up with a solution. And again seeing these apps that weren’t available, I wanted to be able to take my life back and have a sense of security,” said Molloy.
Now, after finishing her freshman year of college in New York, she’s making that app a reality.
The app is called ‘Safe Squad.’ Once you download it, you create a color safe passcode and five emergency contacts, also known as your squad.
You then use the app like a calendar, entering events you will be attending or if you plan on taking the bus for a certain period of time. In the event section, you enter the location and time you plan on being there. Once that time is up, ‘SafeSquad’ will send you an alert that looks similar to an alarm.
You then enter your color passcode and can choose to snooze or dismiss the event.
If you do not enter that passcode or if something happens and you can’t enter it, after several minutes, the app will send an alert to your emergency contacts letting them know to check in with you.
Molloy says she used the alarm and calendar features to make the app unrecognizable as a safety app.
“The most important element of a safety app is that it’s discrete so a potential perpetrator isn’t able to recognize it as such,” she said.
She says she hopes this does not only promote and help others feel safer, but also inspires other people who have been through similar experiences as her.
“It’s not a weight you have to carry alone and sadly, it happens to more people than you think. You’re a product of who you choose to become, but not what happened to you,” Molloy said.
They Molloy family said they funded the entire app on their own, but are looking for sponsors
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