Safety has always been thought of in very black and white terms. There have only been two states; either 1) we’re totally safe and sound or 2) we’re in an emergency, in which case we should call the police or defend ourselves.
That way of thinking has held us back from feeling a sense of agency when it comes to acting in unsafe situations. Why is that? If the bar for considering something an unsafe situation is that it’s already become an emergency, then we will think twice and question whether the situations we find ourselves in are really that bad and whether or not we should do something earlier on. That means we anxiously wait before we act, trying to read all the signs, to see how things go and whether things get worse. Especially because politeness is something many women have been taught since we were young.
And how do you even determine the point at which an iffy situation has escalated to the point of becoming a bad or dangerous situation? When your only tools are calling 911 or using a weapon, we don’t want to guess wrong or accidentally misread the situation. The stakes feel incredibly high if the only option you have is to escalate things: someone could get hurt, you might have to press charges, someone could get arrested, the story might become public, or it could impact your relationships with friends, coworkers, or family.
But sticking around (even while trying to downplay or avoid any conflict) in an iffy or uncomfortable situation can mean putting yourself in danger. If the situation gets worse and escalates, it will get harder and harder to get yourself out as time goes on.
At Flare, we’ve talked to countless survivors of assault, and while no two situations were the same, most survivors we talked to said that they knew the person who assaulted them. And almost all the survivors that we spoke to said they got a bad vibe or picked up on some bad verbal or physical body language at some point earlier on in the encounter, but that they didn’t know what to do. They didn’t have a way to get themselves out of the situation that didn’t involve making a scene or escalating the situation. And they wish they had more tools in their tool kit.
That’s why Flare doesn’t see safety in black and white. We aren’t simply safe or in an emergency. There’s a whole spectrum of time and experiences leading up to an emergency that are being ignored. We understand that the energies everyone gives off and receives are colorful hidden signals that we can tap into to better recognize the positive energy that exists when you’re enjoying yourself and the negative energy of finding yourself in a potentially compromising situation. We see safety as an aura of colors representing different warm and cold emotions that together act as a powerful and intuitive “sixth sense” that we all feel when it comes to our safety. Much like a mood ring. We believe that the auras everyone perceives are different because we all feel more or less comfortable or compromised at different points in any given situation.
By redefining safety as a spectrum, we hope to host a deeper conversation about the experiences that women and all people have on a regular basis. This deeper conversation helps us design better tools to help people the moment they get that feeling in their gut and think that something seems off. Because by helping people act on that intuition earlier, we can help people navigate through the world with more power and control.We want to hear from you about the auras that you experience and your sixth sense when it comes to safety. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.
Please post with respect for others.