How It Works and How It's Used

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Common Questions and Uses for ClutchSOS

What are some myths and facts about sexual assault?

Great Question: There are often a lot of misconceptions about sexual assault. Check with your university center on sexual violence for more, but we've prepared a quick Top 10 Myths and Facts about Sexual Assault to help you and your friends get a better understanding of the issue, especially as it relates to the college experience. Knowledge is power; don't be afraid to talk to your close friends about this. You never know who in your crew could benefit.

How can I use ClutchSOS while Dating?

The most important thing is to have a plan. Let's consider two cases, Online or App-Based Dating and Intimate Partner Violence.

App-Based Dating
Most dating apps shows a picture of who you're going to meet. Many users screen shot that picture and share it with friends along with the location where they will meet their date before they meet them. If you're not comfortable sending the picture, the location and time is still very good as a way to let your friends know that you may need to reach them on that day or timeframe.
Start a ClutchSOS solo-session as you meet your date for the first time. You don't need to send an SOS, but this creates a log in your history for where you met, you may even let the date know you use ClutchSOS on first dates as a safety precaution. How long you keep your solo-session going is up to you. Some users will turn it on when meeting for the first time and leaving, others keep it on for the entire first date.

Intimate Partner Violence
ClutchSOS can bring in others to help mediate a situation live through the streaming two-way audio in the app. But that happens only when you send an SOS which you can do by pressing the Alert Contacts button or using an automatic alert which you can find in Menu>Settings.

ClutchSOS continues recording even if the screen is off, so you'll be able to gather evidence even if the phone is in a pocket or otherwise not in your hands. These frees your hands to help you defend yourself and escape if you need to.

Clutch Contacts Safe-Removal: You can remove a contact from your list without the other person being notified. If you need to send and SOS, and you've removed them from the list, your abuser will not know you've sent it.

Name the Abuser: If you need to use your ClutchSOS recording, it will help to use your abusers name. Their response to their name, together with their voice, and the proof of location generated by the app, provide the Who, What, Where, and When to help you prove your story, so that when you're ready to come forward you will have an easier time.

How do People use ClutchSOS with RideShare-app services?

There are drivers and riders who use ClutchSOS to stay safe and keep proof of their experiences.

When you take a ride from anyone, especially someone you don't know well, there is some risk involved. When you take a ride with a complete stranger, you never know what will happen. By turning on the private recording mode for ClutchSOS, users have been able to keep evidence of where they are going, when and jot down notes in case sketchy rides go wrong. And remember to always check to make sure the person claiming to be your driver is in fact your driver before getting in.

Some drivers have used ClutchSOS to create an accountability record in case a rider is too rowdy, or making inappropriate comments or gestures. Since the company that hired you is likely to take the side of the rider in a dispute, having a record is an extra level of protection some drivers use, just in case.

What if I Get Pulled Over by a Police Officer?

There is a lot of concern about police interactions, and ClutchSOS can be an effective tool in making sure that your story survives your police encounter.
0. Officers face life-or-death scenarios. They never know which scenario will escalate. They're authorized to use deadly force their own safety. If you feel police interactions may be a danger for you, never forget the officer may fear you as a threat to his or her life.

1. Load your ClutchSOS app with your trusted contacts.  Consider setting up automatic alerts in Menu>Settings. This will enable ClutchSOS to automatically send an SOS to you Contacts you've chosen to be Clutch for you.

2. Start a private session every time before you start the car or on your way out to the car. By developing the habit of setting ClutchSOS every time, you won't be caught off guard. And keep you battery charged; low battery can trigger automatic alerts.

3. Avoid any reaching movements from the first siren you here. Reaching for anything --your phone, wallet, may concern the officer.

4. Keep your phone on your person. If you're made to exit the car, this will help the app record your experience better than in the car.

5. Put your keys on the dash. That's a clear indication to the officer you will not be driving away.

6. Look for the red-light on the officer's body-camera, it indicates that it's turned on. This is good for mutual accountability.

7. If you are ordered to make any movement, see #3 above. But if you must, narrate every element of your action.

8. If you've sent an SOS, know that your trusted Clutch Contacts will receive audio and location information no matter what happens to the officer's dash and body camera footage, so your side of the story survives if your phone is confiscated or destroyed.

How can I use ClutchSOS for Good Safety Habits

Use ClutchSOS Every Time you're about to enter into a situation in which you could face danger.
For example:
+ Leaving the Office, House - When you turn on your alarm system for your car/house as you go out, turn on ClutchSOS too.
+Entering a parking garage or other sketchy place- Avoid sketchy places. But if you must, turn on ClutchSOS first.
+Driving - You never know when other drivers will cause an accident. ClutchSOS automatic alerts may call for help when you can not.
+Practice - Make sure you Clutch Contacts know your needs, practice for bad dates, cop-stops, travel abroad, etc.
+Share - You can be safer by enhancing awareness with others. To be consistent, you'll make better decisions. And so will friends.
+Alone - Alone? Doing something potentially dangerous? That's why we have the private recording mode. ClutchSOS has been used as an extra layer of protection when moving boxes on wet stairs and during evening walks.

How do I use ClutchSOS after I've Been Assaulted?

First, know that you didn't deserve or do anything to deserve being the victim of this crime. The criminal is at fault.

For victims, one of the biggest pains in being a victim of assault is not being believed. It's been described as feeling like a second assault. ClutchSOS was designed to help victims be believed. If you sent and SOS, your story will be spread, even if your phone's destroyed.

Check your ClutchSOS apps history section by going to Menu>History. You should see an audio recording with the date and last location of the recording. If your assailant was caught on the audio, then you have important information to come forward with your account of what happened. If you sent an SOS during your encounter, you and your Clutch Contacts have proof of the Where, When, Who, and What that you can play the audio for your college sexual assault counseling service, the police, the news, or a lawyer to help you pursue justice.

Can I listen to Music, make Calls, use Speech-to-Text, or use Virtual Assistants while I Use ClutchSOS?

In a moment of danger, you want all of your senses keenly aware of the environment. Music will dull your ability to hear warning signs of danger. ClutchSOS can't maintain the accuracy of it's recording if interrupted by alternative recording methods such as the audio notes app, virtual assistants, speech-to-text, or phone calls. If a ClutchSOS session is interrupted by any of these, restart your session.

How Do I Ensure My Recordings Always Save?

There are a few key things that can prevent your recording from showing on your device.

1. Currently, when you record in Private Mode, if your phone dies or breaks before uploading your recording uploads, it will not show up in your account. Depending on your phone and settings, there may be a way for forensics teams to find your recordings save in your phone. We recommend setting automatic alerts, to avoid the scenario of your phone dying before uploading. Automatic Alerts trigger an SOS to your friends, begins uploading your Private Mode recording and your Group Mode recording is saved as you engage in the session.

2. Phone runs out space while recording or uploading in private mode. If your phone doesn't have enough storage for the size of your recording, this is rare. It may fail to preserve your recording for lack of space.

3. Internet connectivity Issues. If you lack a connection, cellular or wi-fi when uploading from Private Mode session or initially connecting to sending out an SOS, this may prevent saving the recording of one or both of the sessions. Be sure to maintain a connection whenever possible for best results.

4. Finally, if there is a breakdown in our infrastructure or instability in the delivery of services from one of our partners, this could also affect your ability to see your recordings saved. We have done our best to be sure the our infrastructure is sound, and we have evaluated partners for reliability. Unfortunately, any troubles our partners may have in the future is out of our control. We will notify you as quickly as we can by social media if we ever sense that this could be a problem.

5. Do not use voice to text during a ClutchSOS recording session. This confuses your phone's microphone and ends your recording. To record on ClutchSOS, you'll need to exit the session and start a new session.

If you ever have any issues with your recordings not covered here, please let us know so we can help identify the issue.

How do I Choose my Clutch Contacts?

As a rule of thumb, if a person is loud, has anger management issues, is unreliable, or easily cracks under pressure, s/he may be a great friend but usually isn't very Clutch. Still invite them to ClutchSOS, they may need your help. But choose people you trust, people who can keep a secret, those who cool under pressure and are dependable. If you don't have anyone like that in you life, you now have an opportunity to seek out and develop deeper friendships with truly Clutch people.

How do I Use ClutchSOS with my Pepper Spray/Knife/Martial Arts?

Once Clutch SOS is on and recording, you can put the phone down and keep your hands free for whatever method of self-defense you wish to employ including running away.

Explore and understand your pockets or other holding places on your body for your phone. Test how good the recording is and where the microphone of the device needs to be located for best audio quality.

How do Gun Owners use ClutchSOS?

You're accountable for drawing your weapon. ClutchSOS provides a more than just one person's word on what the situation was that lead to the incident. If you feel the need to draw your weapon, and if you have the time, having ClutchSOS already recording is a way to ensure that your story gets told.

Is ClutchSOS good for Protesting?

ClutchSOS wasn't designed for noisy protests. Loud environments where you must shout to be heard make for inaudible recordings.

How are Men using ClutchSOS?

Male victims of assault, especially sexual assault are much less likely to report and often fear teasing, not being believed or  embarrassment. With your ClutchSOS record of what transpired, you have a better chance of making your case than based on memory. Additionally, men are victims of many kinds of violent crime, even when acting tough. After walking a friend home, ClutchSOS is a great tool for walking back home yourself.

I don't want my friend to think I'm scared. How do I talk about ClutchSOS?

ClutchSOS is all about being there for each other. Danger can strike at any moment. By offering to be Clutch for a friend, you are showing that you care about their well being. Many users have reported having deeper friendships after becoming Clutch for friends. Asking friends to be Clutch for you shows you think they are trustworthy and dependable, that they are Clutch. And if you don't want to seem vulnerable, you can offer to be Clutch for them.

How do I  share my ClutchSOS recording beyond my SOS followers?

The easiest way to share a particular recording is to initiate a screen recording on your phone, open the app, and play the file. Screen recordings record both video and audio, that way the video you screen-record will  record the audio and show the date and location as well which may be useful when using sharing your ClutchSOS recording for reporting purposes. ClutchSOS does not have a built-in export function. If you require assistance from the Clutch Team, for example you want help with multiple long files, please connect with Pat (at] ClutchSOS [dot) com