In more than 75 percent of the cases, the perpetrator of any act of sexual violence is known to the victim. It could be an acquaintance, a neighbour, or someone you work or study with. So, how do we make sure that our environment is safe when we do not know what kind of threat a neighbour or colleague may pose?
Sometimes, for no apparent reason, we have an eerie feeling that something is wrong with someone. And more often than not, our gut feeling is right. What if we have a way of finding out if that someone who bugs us is actually a sex offender? That is where softwares like Family Watchdog and Callisto come into the picture.
Family Watchdog helps you in finding out if there are any sex offenders in your neighbourhood or the places you have to visit. It can also notify you, with an image of the person and their address, if some sex offender has newly moved into your area. This way, we can be well prepared, as we would be aware as to what or whom we will be dealing with if we have to.
On the other hand, we have applications like Callisto, which aims at enabling you to report a sexual offence, or find out if the person has harassed anyone in the past through an option called “match”. This app aims at safeguarding men and women from sexual harassment at workplaces and academic institutions (mostly colleges for now), according to The News Minute. This app has been on the market since 2015, and is the brainchild of Jessica Ladd.
India still has a long way to go with regard to launching such applications as we still haven’t come up with a sex offenders registry. We are still in the process of preparing draft guidelines for it. According to India Today, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said,
"The initial consultation draft includes the registration of individuals convicted for offences like rape, voyeurism, stalking, and aggravated sexual assault, and includes possibility of registration of offenders below and above 18 years."
When it comes to a state-wise sex offenders registry, Kerala is expected to become the first state to have one.