HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — One Massachusetts company has created a tool it hopes will help domestic violence victims, following the increase in cases across the country and in Horry County amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around five years ago, the creators of invisaWear saw that sometimes, there’s just not enough time to grab your phone, unlock it and call 9-1-1. So, they created pieces of jewelry, each disguised with a panic button.
Lately, with the increase in domestic violence charges across the country and in Horry County after the stay-at-home order was lifted, creators Rajia Abdelaziz and Ray Hamilton say they’ve seen an increase in sales.
“There’s been such a huge increase in sales from domestic violence individuals. It’s so heartbreaking,” said Abdelaziz.
invisaWear worked with 9-1-1 software company RapidSOS, so when that button on the bracelet is double clicked, the dispatcher computers, like the ones at Horry County E-911, will show the victim’s first and last name, and the location where they’re at.
It’s a necklace, keychain, fitness band or scrunchie too, and the creators say learning that one in five women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime was a main reason why they started the company.
They recently received a note from a customer whose attacker was released from prison.
“She said she was losing sleep at night, just constantly worrying that he was going to find her, and he was going to come attack her,” said Abdelaziz.
“It’s definitely horrible to see right now,” said Hamilton. “People are stuck at home more and they are in that situation, so we are seeing a lot of people wanting to reach out to protect them.”
For now, the creators say they’re working with RapidSOS to develop the system more where 9-1-1 dispatchers can see additional notes, like what kind of situation the victim is in.