How to respond to an active shooter situation

“What should I do during active shooter situations?”
It is very unfortunate, but I bet this question crossed each one of us at one point or another.  Knowing what to do in advance increases our chances of survival and minimizes the horrific and all too often deadly outcome of an active shooter event!

Here is a video on how to respond to an active shooter situation by City of Houston Mayor’s office….Please watch and share

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Sex trafficking an ‘epidemic’

I met with this amazing women yesterday who is also our current Mrs. Minnesota, Ms. Melissa Brenny.

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I heard from one of my close friends Jess, that Melissa is working on spreading awareness on sex trafficking (to support her for Mrs. America pageant, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/2cwthek) and wanted to talk with her to see if Holor could be of help to potential victims. She was such a joy to be around and I wish her the best on the upcoming Mrs. America pageant this month.

After our discussion I came home and started doing some research on sex trafficking. This blog will share details I gathered……..The first thing that came to mind when I stated reviewing statistics on sex trafficking is ‘Houston, we have a problem’.

Apparently sex trafficking is currently a booming industry globally, nationally and locally. And also it’s no longer just an urban street-corner problem, officials say it has engulfed suburban counties because the internet and digital devices remove geographical boundaries and the use of mobile apps like Wickr and Whisper avoid detection.

  • Globally it is estimated that around 3 million women and girls are currently enslaved in sex trafficking, since most of the women and girls do not file complaints it is estimated that the number is much much higher.
  • The US state department estimates that between 600,000 – 800,000 people are victims human trafficking each year. 80% of those trafficked are women and girls, mostly for sexual exploitation.
  • Sex trafficking is producing a revenue of $30 billion annually. It is next to only drug trafficking.

Nothing thrives without demand, apparently there is high demand for sex trafficking and it escalates during major events like Super bowl etc.

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Below are some of the questions I had on sex trafficking….

  • What is sex trafficking?

SEX TRAFFICKING occurs when someone uses force, fraud or coercion to cause a commercial sex act with and adult or causes a minor to commit commercial sex act.

COMMERCIAL SEX ACT includes prostitution, pornography and sexual performance done in exchange for any item of value, such as money, drugs, shelter, food or clothing.

  • How do traffickers find their victims and lure them?
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  • Why do victims stay?
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  • What is the average age of victims?

13- 16 years

It is just heart breaking to see young girls are the ones that are the most vulnerable victims of sex trafficking.

I recommend everyone read this great St.Cloud times article (http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2016/07/21/sex-trafficking-victims-next-door/87248556/). This article elaborates a sting operation to catch sex traffickers by law enforcement in St.Cloud.

“Sex trafficking and mass rape should no more be seen as women’s issues than slavery was a black issue or the Holocaust was a Jewish issue. These are all humanitarian concerns, transcending any one race, gender, or creed.”
― Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Stay safe and stay aware of the surroundings! Until next blog….

Note:Some of sources for this information are through US department of justice, Polaris Project

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First step to change is AWARENESS!

Awareness is one of the many preventive measures that can assist us in making better decisions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. The purpose of this article is to raise awareness  by sharing the facts and statistics on sexual assaults.

There are different aspects of sexual assaults  and they are as following:

  • Sexual assault by strangers and by acquaintances
  • Sexual abuse of children
  • Human trafficking
  • Sexual assaults in prisons
  • Sexual assaults by multiple attackers or gang rape

Men, Women and children are all affected by sexual assaults

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  • Every 2 min. a person is sexually assaulted and every 8 min. that victim is a child. And meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.
  • 1 out of 6 women and 1 out of 33 men are victims of an attempted or completed rape in her/his lifetime.
  • Majority of sexual assault victims are under 35.
  • Child protective services agencies substantiated strong evidence to indicate that 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.

Campus sexual assaults are getting to be a big problem

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.

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  • More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.
  • Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police.

Factors Contributing to Sexual Assault

According to an article by U.S. justice department, most offenders rape to satisfy their need for power and control, and they used various forced sexual acts to do so. In other words, the sexual act is the means, rather than motive for sexual assault.

Understanding the factors that contribute to the problem might help us analyze key intervention points and determine effective measures. The sexual assault analysis triangle may help frame the important factors contributing to the problem. Rather than being determined by a single factor sexual assault may result when (1) a motivated offender and (2) a vulnerable victim cross paths in (3) a location without capable guardians.

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We can reduce sexual assaults by addressing one side of the triangle. Since its not in our hands to cure psychological issues of the offenders, we should try to address victims side of the triangle. We could address that by (1) Reducing vulnerability  (2) Increasing the level of resistance and (3) increasing the willingness to report crime to the police….all these points can be addressed by victim if she/he travels in groups and/or by using personal protection devices like Holor that could help with all the 3 issues at the click of one single button.

Note: All the statistics used in this article are gathered from articles and publications from different government agencies NSVRC, RAINN,BJS, The US department of Justice.

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Prologue July23’16

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I am Kanthi Yalamanchili founder and CEO of Holor. In this first blog I want to share a little background into why I started Holor.

Having volunteered at non-profit organizations and hearing about numerous incidents of brutal assaults, rapes, abductions of women, college students and kids not only made my heart wrench, but also made me realize that nothing should be taken for granted. Especially, when it comes to family and personal safety. Hence I started looking into home and personal security devices for protection of my family and me.

During the vigorous online research I found that home security devices have evolved over the years and are currently very efficient(with wireless sensors, cameras etc) and trustworthy. On the other hand, with personal protection devices(PPDs) I found that most of the popular and widely used devices(i.e.,Mace, pepper spray, tazer etc) have been invented in the early 1900’s. These devices have not evolved much except for some cosmetic updates. I was just dumb struck by these findings!😱

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Just imagine using a mobile phone from 1980 with just some minor cosmetic changes in 2016. Now you see it right…that is exactly what is happening in the case of personal protection devices. We are in an age where we just can’t imagine using a cell phone with technology that is just 2 years old, why are we ok using PPD technology(devices for our own protection)from almost half a century or so ago?

The technology lover in me wasn’t ready to accept this fact, but the engineer in me couldn’t ignore the data that was clearly evident.This realization and passion for technology sparked an idea for an age appropriate PPD…Holor!

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