Every two minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted. Globally, one in three women has been beaten or abused. And less than half of all domestic attacks are reported to the police.

If that’s the case, shouldn’t our mobile devices help make women safer?

That’s exactly what the Global Women’s Empowerment Network (GWEN) has done, launching an app for women (and men) who are victims of abuse. And last night, the organization received a Mobile Excellence Award at Digital Hollywood’s conference in Los Angeles.

The app, called GWEN Alert, lets you set up to five pre-programmed contacts — your “GWEN five” — that you can contact at a moment’s notice by pressing an emergency button. If you press the button, your contacts will be notified automatically by SMS and given your exact GPS location.

“GWEN Alert puts control back into victims’ hands, providing a real tool to those in abusive relationships,” GWEN co-founder Tess Cacciatore said in a statement. “This revolutionary new mobile app will save lives, as well as give peace of mind.”

Alternatively, the GWEN app can automatically dial a national hotline or local emergency number.

The app is free to download, and while it is currently available only for iPhone, an Android version is coming soon, a GWEN representative told me.

Hopefully, you and your loved ones will never need an app like GWEN Alert. But it’s better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it.

photo credit: Lin Pernille Photography via photopin cc