How comfortable are you walking home alone late at night? According to a recent Gallup poll, 37% of US adults do not feel safe walking alone at night. Looking at the numbers by gender, 45% of women say that they don’t like walking alone at night, compared to 27% of men.
Fortunately, there is a rising number of safety wearables in the market that make it easy to get help. Many of these wearables are discreet and can send alerts to friends or family with the wearer’s GPS location.
One of the safety wearables in the market is Athena by ROAR for Good. Athena is about the size of a quarter can be worn in different ways – as a necklace, clipped to your blouse, pocket or belt, stored in your bag or keychain, etc. The wearable comes with two alert modes – an “alarm mode” for emergencies and a “silent mode” for discreet or uncomfortable situations.
Her Agenda connected with Yasmine Mustafa, Co-Founder and CEO of ROAR for Good to learn more about their story.
Her Agenda: What prompted ROAR for Good?
Yasmine Mustafa: I became a US citizen five years ago and to celebrate, I booked a six month trip out of the country. I hopped on a plane and went to Ecuador, Columbia, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. I spent a month in each country, and it opened my eyes to the violence women faced every day. Everywhere I went, I was either warned or told a story of a loved one that had been attacked. It was just relentless. A week after I came back to Philadelphia, my neighbor went out to her car and was brutally attacked a block from our apartment. That was the light bulb moment.
Her Agenda: How did that lead to the creation of Athena?
Yasmine Mustafa: Initially, I thought, “How can you take existing self-defense tools and make them more accessible? Make them so that they’re right there when you need them instead of having to get them out of your pocket or purse and lose precious time?”
The first idea was actually very different from Athena. It was called the “Macelet” – Mace in a bracelet. I thought it was brilliant, but when I talked to women about it, the data told me that the Macelet was actually a terrible idea because of two key things. One is that women are afraid that they will use their own self-defense device against them. For example, you spray the pepper spray, but the wind whips back and it gets into your own eyes, so now you’re hurt instead of your attacker. Two – I learned that the biggest fear women have is being overpowered and their own self-defense device used as a weapon against them. That really blew my mind.
Afterward, I did more research and found that the self-defense industry hadn’t innovated in 80 years! All of the self-defense inventions had actually been made by men for other men. To market and sell them to women – instead of coming up with different products, they would shrink them and make them pink. After learning from women on what they wanted and didn’t want – that’s how Athena and its feature sets came about.
Her Agenda: Who are the biggest users of Athena?
Yasmine Mustafa: We recently launched a survey to get that type of data from our customers, and we’re learning some interesting things. For the most part, the people buying Athena are not the ones using it. They’re actually gifting it to somebody else, and the groups they’re gifting to are ages 15-21. For the people that buy it for themselves, they tend to skew older, about 50-75 years. They’re using Athena as an alternative to Life Alerts. That piece, in particular, surprised us. We’re also seeing runners that worry about their safety when running at night interested in Athena, as well. So, college students, women in urban cities, and senior citizens are the most popular groups.
Her Agenda: What would you say is unique about Athena compared to other safety wearables in the market?
Yasmine Mustafa: The biggest three differences are the feature sets of the product, the design of the product, and the social impact mission. Athena morphed to become the product it is today purely based on user feedback. Everything is intentional for the features and design, and we don’t use any fear-based marketing. In fact, we wanted to take the position of giving back power to women, hence our tagline “living life boldly.” We also have something called the ROAR Back program. For every purchase of Athena, a portion of the proceeds go to organizations that have programs geared towards young children that teach them about consent, healthy relationships and other skills that actually decrease attacks and violence against women.
If you’d like to purchase Athena for yourself or a loved one, click here and use the code YASMINEFRIEND at checkout for a 10% discount.