FRAMINGHAM, Mass. and AUSTIN, Texas, March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the Deaf Abused Women Network (DAWN), one in two deaf women will be victims of domestic violence and 80 percent of women with a disability will be sexually assaulted. Seeking help for domestic abuse and any emergency is difficult enough and victims who cannot hear can feel especially helpless.
Smart911, the life-saving, national safety service that gives 9-1-1 extra intelligence when responding to an emergency, and Deaf Women United (DWU) have formed a national partnership to provide deaf women the tools to communicate with and seek help from 9-1-1 and first responders. Contacting public safety and requesting help can be a very difficult task for a deaf person, especially if they are not in their home. Deaf Women United and Smart911 want the deaf community and 9-1-1 public safety answering points to be aware that there are tools and resources available to allow them both to communicate with each other during an emergency situation.
"Deaf woman face greater obstacles in seeking help in emergencies because of communication barriers they face with law enforcement," said Melissa Yingst Huber, chair of Deaf Women United. "An abusive partner can take away a Deaf woman's communications device and mislead law enforcement on her behalf. A Smart911 Safety Profile can include crucial details that she is deaf, needs to communicate via SMS text messaging and is a victim of domestic violence."
Founded in 1985, Deaf Women United was established to initiate and create a network of individuals and organizations that represent and serve deaf women. DWU provides leadership to and empowers deaf women throughout the country with a support system that will enhance their lives.
Through Smart911's free Safety Profiles, deaf women can open private communication channels with 9-1-1 and first responders. Safety Profiles are private and kept secure, appearing only when the associated phone number calls 9-1-1, allowing a victim to signal for help without tipping off her abuser. The Safety Profile is a lifeline for deaf woman that will save lives, not only during instances of abuse, but in all emergency situations.
"Women with disabilities tend to stay in dangerous relationships longer than their counterparts without disabilities," said Katharine Dahl, director of marketing for Rave Mobile Safety, maker of Smart911. "During Deaf History Month and throughout this great partnership, we hope to raise awareness for the struggles of deaf women as well as let them know there are tools available that can enable them to seek help from 9-1-1 and first responders when they need it."
To learn more about Deaf Women United, visit http://www.dwu.org
To register for Smart911 and create your free Safety Profile, please visit: https://www.smart911.com
About Rave Mobile Safety
Rave Mobile Safety is the most trusted software partner for campus and public safety. Used by leading Institutes of Higher Education and State and Local Agencies, the award-winning portfolio of Rave SafeCampus, RaveAlert, RaveGuardian, Eyewitness, Smart911 and SmartPrepare enables millions to feel safe, secure and connected. Rave Mobile Safety is headquartered in Framingham, Mass. For more information please visit www.ravemobilesafety.com.
LEWIS Global Communications
Public Relations for Rave Mobile Safety