Safety is a Right: A Male Perspective on Community Safety

In April of 2017, I attended an event on DU’s campus called “Into the Light”, an innovative approach to change the attitude and culture around the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. A component of the event was to provide Revolar personal safety devices to anyone who wanted one.

I was so impressed by how innovative, yet simple, the little button was. More importantly, I was impressed that when you press the Revolar twice for a yellow alert, it’ll trigger your phone to ring to get you out of uncomfortable situations. In the weeks following the event, I showed the device off to all my friends by demonstrating the “Ring Me” feature.

Revolar and Into the Light share the belief that everyone has a right to be safe made their technology even more approachable. Yet, I recognized that the little button is so much more.

I agree with the notion that everyone has the right to be safe. However, for some, safety is a privilege that isn’t ever thought about. On the one hand, the idea of ensuring that I am always safe is not my biggest priority as a man. On the other hand, I am aware that safety is something of major importance for my sister, and my mother. This concern is why my mom, and so many of friends carry pepper spray. It is for this reason that I understand why feeling, and being, safe, in today’s world is a privilege, not a right.

Obtaining safety for anyone cannot be a one-person job. While we all like to feel independent and indestructible, it takes more than just ourselves to be truly safe. For example, if I decided to wear a bulletproof vest, that should give the impression that if a bullet were to be shot at me, I would not get hurt. And yet, that simply isn’t the case. The vest doesn’t prevent someone from shooting my arm or my leg, or even my head. The vest only protects part of me: it doesn’t keep all of me safe. A culture of true safety shouldn’t be a reactive measure to a dangerous world; rather, it should be a protective measure that begins with education and team effort by all.  

I have also learned about the power of being a supportive ally. For those who do not share the same privileges as me when it comes to feeling safe, is the reason why I carry my Revolar personal alarm with me. I wear my Revolar wearable safety device to show that I care. To my friends, my family, and my fellow peers and strangers alike: I care about your safety. I know that it is my responsibility to do what I can to make safety a right, NOT a privilege.

Safety is the product of people understanding and buying into the definition of community. That is why I think it is so important that myself, and my fellow male peers, do what we can to show our support. Revolar safety devices aren’t just for women concerned about their safety, but for men too. I hope that when my male peers and I wear our Revolar devices around, it shows our female peers that we won’t be complacent to assault. Rather, as men, we care about their well-being and safety too.

I personally think the technology of Revolar is VERY cool. And it isn’t something that should be reserved for just one set of people. Everyone deserves to be safe, and that requires a buy-in from everyone. It starts with us, and understanding that Revolar is respect.

As a supportive ally, I am entering this new school year committed to my community’s safety, will you join me in committing to yours?