The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that one in six women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, many of whom are unknowingly drugged. Known as date rape drugs, these chemicals generally have no color, smell, or taste, making them nearly impossible to detect when added to a drink. Victims quickly become weak and confused, leaving them unable to refuse sex or fend off an attack. However, a number of these sexual assaults can be prevented, thanks to a new line of drug-sensitive nail polish that instantly alerts users if a drink has been spiked.
Painting and Protecting
The innovative line of Undercover Colors works by changing color when it comes in contact with any date rape drug. To test a drink for safety, wearers simply and discretely dip the tip of a polished fingernail into a beverage. Should the drink be spiked, the nail polish will change colors. It’s a fast and reliable way to ensure the wearer’s safety.
The Undercover Colors line is able to detect the three most common date rape drugs. Those are:
The Undercover Colors’ Facebook page boasts they are the "first fashion company working to prevent sexual assault."
A Colorful Controversy
While some have welcomed the drug-detecting possibilities of Undercover Colors, the nail polish is not without its critics. For example, Katie Russell from Rape Crisis England and Wales says her charity will not support the invention.
“Rape Crisis does not endorse or promote such a product or anything similar. This is for three reasons: it implies that it’s the woman’s fault and assumes responsibility on her behalf, and detracts from the real issues that arise from sexual violence.”
In response, Undercover Colors’ co-founder Tyler Confrey-Maloney took to social media.
“We hope this future product will be able to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators, creating a risk that they might actually start to get caught,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Similar Products for Rape Drug Detection
Though Undercover Colors is the first nail polish to detect date rape drugs, they’re certainly not the only detection device on the market. Similar initiatives include products like:
- Personal Drink ID (pd.id): When dipped into a beverage, this device tests for date rape drugs and alerts users if a substance is found.
- Swizzle Stick: Israeli scientists developed a sensor that looks like a straw, detecting GHB and ketamine with 100 percent accuracy.
- DrinkLock: This innovative device is affixed over a glass, sealing it closed and preventing acts of drink spiking.
Learn more about the risks and side effects of alcohol and drug abuse
Image Source: pixabay.com, Flickr/gothikrose