Post link 13 February 2015, 23:25
August 29, 2014 1:00 pm By Shayla Perry

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that each year more than 97,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. A startling statistic; especially when you consider that number does not account for high school (and sadly, middle school) students.

Enter four college kids from North Carolina State University.

These entrepreneurs -- all men -- have created a nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with common date rape drugs like Rohypnol ("ruffies"), Xanax, and Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) -- also known as "Liquid X," "Liquid Ecstasy," and "Georgia Homeboy."

We call it genius. They call it Undercover Colors.

Dubbing itself "the first fashion company working to prevent sexual assault," Undercover Colors seeks to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves against this heinous crime.

So how does it work?

For years women have been told to keep their drinks with them-- even taking them to the bathroom to keep someone from slipping something into it. That was it. That was what we called prevention. But with Undercover Colors, real date rape prevention is right at a woman's fingertips. All she has to do is give her drink a swirl, and if one of the drugs is detected, the lacquer will change in color.

"We hope to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman's drink because there's now a risk that they can get caught," say the company's founders. "In effect, we want to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators."

Of course there are naysayers who say that products like these only perpetuate the rape culture because they put the onus on women, instead of having open, honest discussions with women and men on college campuses, along with school administrators, about respecting boundaries and not trivializing sexual assault cases.

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But who says we can't have both?

Despite its detractors, Undercover Colors is gaining quite a bit of traction, with Facebook fans calling it "the most amazing development for the safety of women ever."

All great news, right?

Well, there is a bit of bad news.

You're going to have to wait to get your hands on Undercover Colors, because the product is still in early development. (A collective sigh from women everywhere.)

"One of our main priorities is to ensure that we develop a product that tests for a comprehensive set of drugs before we release it," co-founder and CEO Tyler Confrey-Maloney explains. "Our proof-of-concept research has been very promising and we want to continue to build on this early success before we officially release a product in stores."

The company is considering a crowdsourcing campaign, like Kickstarter, to aid in funding. So far, over $10,000 in personal donations have been raised. You can help get the product on the shelves a little sooner by going to the Undercover Colors website and making your own donation, which goes directly to research and development efforts.

For more information on Undercover Colors, check out the company's Facebook page.
Topic edited 2 times, last edit by RouTe, 13 February 2015, 23:58  

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