"Power must be handed back to women in what is a devastatingly powerless situation"
Sexual assault is a widespread problem in American collages and in a bid to prevent girls from getting attacked, a group of male engineers from North Carolina State University have created a nail polish that changes colour if your drink has been spiked.
The four students first came up with the idea after a few of their friends were sexually assaulted and set out to create something that would help keep others safe while they are out.
Date rape drugs are a massive problem, and people are an easy target when they are drinking at a party or a club.
Spiking someone involves putting a date rape drug, mainly Rohypnol but also Ketamin, into their drink. These drugs have an effect on a person’s consciousness and can lead to the victim being attacked.
At school we are taught about the importance of always being aware of your drink, never putting it down, or accepting drinks from strangers, but sadly being vigilant isn’t always enough to keep you safe.
In an effort to prevent instances of drink spiking turning into sexual assault, the students created nail-tech company Undercover Colours and have pioneered a polish that might just save your life.
The cutting edge technology allows the polish to detect drugs in any drink by simply placing a finger in to the liquid, it then changes colour if the drink contains drugs.
The company was originally set up in 2014 which is when talk of the polishes went viral, but a recent post on their Facebook page suggests that the polishes could nearly be ready to hit the shelves.
Sadly, rape Crisis reports that 1 in 5 women have experienced some form of sexual violence. For many victims, the perpetrator was somebody that they already knew, or were close with and for that reason, this cannot be seen as the answer to sexual assault.
While many people have applauded the company owners, they have also received criticism for the message they are sending, both to victims and perpetrators of sexual violence.
“While I applaud their efforts to prevent sexual assault among college students, after reading their product description, it’s pretty clear that these male students know little rape culture and even less about plausible solutions,” Said the Huffington Post.
“While well intentioned, products like “Undercover Colors” actually perpetuate rape culture by placing the burden of safety back onto women.”
Providing women with a means to expose a potential premeditated attack, fails entirely to address the core issues of rape culture. It also suggests that the responsibility of preventing an attack should fall on the woman, furthering harmful victim blaming stereotypes.
This nail polish is in no way a solution to the problem, but we are glad to see that these men are trying to do something that might help. If it prevents even one person from being assaulted, then, in our opinion it’s a worthwhile product.
If you, or anyone you know has experienced any form of sexual assault, please contact rapecrisis.