• This ring could make walking in the streets safer. (Instagram)Source: Instagram
Her name is Katya. She's 41, a survivor of crime, and she's had a great idea.
Sarah Norton

24 Jun 2016 - 2:45 PM  UPDATED 26 Jun 2016 - 10:00 PM

A Russian woman has shared her story about getting stabbed in public to raise awareness about ways to combat dangerous situations.

Katya Kermlin was attacked by a man with a knife 16 years ago. She explains in a Facebook post that it happened in broad daylight, on a busy street. After she gave nothing to a man trying to strike up a conversation, he pulled a knife and slit her throat.

“He cut open my stomach, and wanted to conclude this process of getting to know me by putting the blade through my heart. But each time he tried my ribs and other bones got in the way,” she wrote.

The now 41-year-old explains that her odds of survival from the attack were very low. She is only alive thanks to a neighbour hearing her cries for help.

“The likelihood of me surviving to ever see the light of day again was pretty low, mostly because I didn't have enough hands.

"I was using one to stop the fountain of blood spurting out my neck, and grabbing at the knife with the other. I also had to make sure my insides weren’t spilling out of the gaping wound on my abdomen, but luckily my tight pants did the trick,” she writes.

After being rescued by the neighbour, Kermlin was rushed to hospital and her life was saved.


Kermlin is sharing her story because she wants to raise awareness of the need for better safety devices - including the panic button ring project which she co-founded. People wear the ring and hit the bottom of it with their thumb if they are in trouble. Messages for help are sent to friends, family or those nearby.

How technology is making us safer 

This March, three women in Afghanistan created an app as part of USAID WIE’s first Code Challenge which also alerts friends, family and those nearby for help.. The app reports harassment in real time.

Harassmap is an initiative from Egypt that aims to protect women through reporting sexual harassment via SMS. It gives a safe way to report sexual abuse and refers users to essential services.

Australia’s Rosie Batty launched an app called Daisy in 2015 to help victims of domestic violence. Developed by 1800RESPECT and funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, the app gives victims access to support and legal services as well as crisis accommodation.

It is loaded with security features - users can quickly call 000 from it and a speedy exit button is installed for when the perpetrator finds them on their phone.

She's a survivor

Kermlin says she doesn’t think of her experience as a bad one because it has made her the person she is today. She describes herself as a “crime survivor”, not a “crime victim”.

“Coming face-to-face with evil is difficult and terrifying. But one can also end up being incredibly happy,” she writes.

“I got so very lucky. I met some amazing people, many of whom I still think of as demigods. I’ve done a lot of fascinating things in my life. Being dead would have made all of this impossible.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify the Daisy app is an initiative of 1800RESPECT.

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