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India Mandates All Cell Phones Have "Panic Button" for Women

India Mandates All Cell Phones Have "Panic Button" for Women

The occurrence of rape in India is pervasive. The country averages one rape every four hours, according to a recent report. And to make matters worse, the nation has one of the lowest police-to-citizen ratios in the world.

Now government officials are taking unique measures to combat the crisis by mandating that all mobile phone manufacturers, including the world's largest two Apple and Samsung, feature a "panic button" for women.

The mandate announced by the telecommunications ministry in New Delhi on Monday requires all mobile phone manufacturers to be compliant by January 2018.

"Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women," Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a statement.

Women would be able to use the panic button on their smartphones with a designated key. On older flip-phone models, the button would be activated by pressing down the number 5 or 9.

Since the brutal 2012 Delhi gang rape, beating, and death of a medical student on a public bus, rape in India has sparked a national discussion. Although the nation has since broadened its definition of what constitutes rape, husbands are still exempt.

NEXT: Surviving Rape »

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Photo Credit: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images