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Demonstrators demanded action from then-Governor Wanda Vazquez in September 2020 over the rise of gender-based violence. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images.
Demonstrators demanded action from then-Governor Wanda Vazquez in September 2020 over the rise of gender-based violence. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images.

The ‘Aware’ app seeks to protect women in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico-originating app helps bring awareness to sex offenders and criminal activity in a given area.

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In Puerto Rico, violence against women has become a staggering concern.

Last January, Puerto Rican governor Pedro Pierluisi declared a state of emergency on violence against women and gender-based violence.

The state of emergency joined an executive order directing resources to support protection, harm prevention, and programs against gender violence.

Another resource, the Aware app, has now been introduced. Aware alerts users of criminal activity and possibly registered sexual offenders in their area. 

The app will alert users if they are in an area deemed unsafe and suggests measures for protection. Users can also view a crime history for a given area and other further news.

Premium options (priced at $9.99/month) allow users to contact live virtual agents who can send their location to family members or police entities.

Aware was developed by Puerto Rican tech duo Mayrel González Huertas and Claudia Ramos Zorrilla. The duo cites being mothers was one influence behind Aware.

“I had a neighbor who was a sexual predator but thank god that the police were able to catch him before he could do anything to a kid,” co-creator Gonzalez Huerta told Telemundo Noticias.

There are plans to expand the app past Puerto Rico in the following months. As of now, the app is only available on the island.

The Aware app is available on the Apple and Google Play stores.

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