It’s a story Quinn Fitzgerald and Sara de Zarraga have heard all too often and can relate to all too well: There were little signs—an uncomfortable touch, strange comments—that made women feel unsafe around someone. “They felt trapped and didn’t know what to do,” Fitzgerald says.
Many of the things we’re taught to use to protect us can feel over-the-top in the moment. “With things like pepper spray and whistles, the only solution you have is to escalate things,” she adds. And when you’re already uncertain of how that person will respond, it’s easy to brush off those signs and hope you’ve misread the situation.
As survivors of sexual assault, Fitzgerald and de Zarraga want to change that. That’s why, for the past four years, they’ve been creating Flare, a line of jewelry with safety at the forefront. Inside each bracelet is a discreet button. Press it once, and it calls your phone with a recorded “emergency” message—one of 10 you can choose from, all recorded by voice actors to make it sound like the caller is dealing with something urgent and needs you ASAP. Press and hold the button for three seconds, and it can send a group text to up to 10 people of your choosing, alerting them you’re in danger and sending your GPS location. You can also hold down the button to have the device contact 911 for you.