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Creating safe and empowering communities for women to thrive in

Hey there ❤️ my name is Paola Sanchez and I operate Red Flag Awareness groups around the world where women can empower each other and keep each other safe from dangerous or toxic men. 


I started the first "Are We Dating The Same Guy?" group in NYC, and not long after that, it started to really make an impact. Early on we realized that by moderating the group for cities other than our own, we could avoid most of the potential for bias as well as lessen the chances of angry men showing up at our doors.

It ended up growing very fast, and I had to adapt and learn quickly in order to prevent the group from getting shut down, as well as keep it safe from fake profiles and legal issues. While figuring that all out I learned of other similar groups that had been shut down or abandoned due to moderation and legal concerns, and realized that the techniques and systems I was learning from keeping NYC going could be used to allow groups like this to prosper in cities across the country. So I created more. A lot more.


Across the world there are now over 4,000,000 women in 200+ cities that use these systems. And I lead the vast majority of them. Honestly it’s growing faster than I ever would have thought, and the fast growth has led to an insane amount of stress and a lot of obstacles we had to overcome... but it feels amazing to be helping protect so many women.

Running these groups has also given me some real insight into the dating issues we all face, and I want to use that insight to more directly disrupt the entire idea of dating apps while continuing to support the growth of the current groups! I believe a women's community app that can bring women together and keep them safe from the worst aspects of dating would be the most direct way I could make dating safer.

I’ve begun work on something really great, but I’ve realized that I need more resources to bring it into existence while simultaneously continuing to operate and grow the current groups. With your help we have a real opportunity to help dating get better for women everywhere.

My Story

I'm a 29 year old Latina woman. I would state where I'm from, but ever since I had a rock thrown through a window at my family’s home by a man who wanted to stop our efforts to empower women, I've had to keep a low profile due to threats of harassment and violence against me. I even had to start paying for a service to wipe my personal information from the internet. Despite the adversity, it's been amazing to see these groups helping so many women stay safe. I've always had a passion for ideas that can help those around me.


I have always been a resourceful person. From early on I didn’t want women to be required to pay for safety, because someone who is like me in a similar financial situation likely wouldn’t be able to afford it. I’ve stuck by this as hard as I can. I’ve asked for donations to help sustain the business, but overall the cost associated with running it has been higher than all donations ever received. I believe in this cause so I’ve been supplementing it with my separate small business. 


When I started these groups, all I had to work with was my cell phone and an idea. I have two first generation immigrant parents, and I am a first generation college graduate. I still live with my mom in a small apartment to help save money so that my mom and I can send money back home to our family that is still in Ecuador, because they struggle financially and always have. I think running these groups is something that I ended up being suited for because I’m a hard worker who’s passionate about the things I do, and I’ve also become very used to not having money. So, spending all of my free time on something that will likely never make me money is something that I’m alright with. What’s important to me is being able to make a difference for as many women as possible. 


My ideal goal isn’t to get rich off this, my ideal goal is to continue to let it grow and help more women in more ways. I am hoping to someday have investment in an app and have enough profits to make running these groups into a career that can sustain me and my mom. I would love to have enough money for my mom and our family in Ecuador to never have to worry again. My parents and their families both struggled growing up, and they still continue to struggle with money to this day. I’m so thankful that they decided to take the chance on coming to America, and I would like to use that opportunity that they gave me to help get to a point where they never have to worry about money again, and achieve things that can only be done with the resources I have, and help as many women as possible in the process. 


I’ve always had a passion for helping people. Most people, particularly people in situations like mine, don’t have many opportunities in their lives to do things that can impact people all over the world, so when I realized just how impactful these groups can be, I adjusted my life to be able to dedicate as much time as I could to making these groups grow and try to keep them safe. Just in these 2 years I’ve positively impacted more people than I ever could have imagined for someone in my situation, and words can’t describe how grateful I am to have gotten this opportunity.

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