According to the Athens Watchdog survey that was taken by 18-22 year old, primarily white females, importance of safety was predominately ranked as a 5 on a scale from 1-5. The majority of respondents said that they felt more nervous than safe when walking/biking alone, yet this same majority walks/bikes alone weekly, or at least 2-3 times per month. In order to stay safe, some respondents communicate on the phone while they are alone or carry pepper spray; these respondents also said that the phone can also be seen as a distraction, and pepper spray is cumbersome to carry along.
While Athens, GA is a relatively safe city, there are constant acts of crime, just like there are in any city. As reported by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation website, in 2012, Athens-Clarke County had incidents of 5 murders, 55 rapes, 162 robberies, 256 assaults, and 3470 larcenies. As reported by the University of Georgia police, in 2012 the main campus alone 278 residence hall incidents, with 320 student victims, 45 employee victims, and 87 visitor victims.
Nowadays, we’ve had it drilled into our heads that we should not go out alone at night. We hear horror stories about how people have gotten hurt, been violated, been killed when they’ve done just that. We know people (or know people who know people) who this has happened to. We don’t feel safe at night. So we do things to try to protect ourselves: we hold our keys between our fingers or mace in a death grip. We talk on the phone to friends and family members to send the message: I am cared about; I would make a poor target.
But still we don’t feel safe.
The makers of Athens Watchdawg are aware of the unfortunate understanding in our society: if you go out at night, you’re putting yourself at risk.
We want to eliminate that.
We firmly believe that no one should ever feel like they are not safe walking out of their home. Our goal is to give individuals the feeling of security so that they can continue doing the things they enjoy at any time of the day.