Can a Nail Polish Prevent Rape?
Detecting a date rape drug in your drink may soon be as simple as swirling the cocktail with your manicured fingers.
Four, male University of North Carolina students are developing Undercover Colors, a nail polish that changes color when dipped into a liquid containing Rohypnol, Ketamine, and GHB, sedatives often called “date rape drugs.”
The students describe Undercover Colors as “The first fashion company working to prevent sexual assault.”
“While date rape drugs are often used to facilitate sexual assault, very little science exists for their detection,” says the Undercover Colors Facebook page. “Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.”
The inventors say they hope the nail polish will make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink because there would be an added risk of getting caught.
“We want to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators,” they say.
Date rape drugs, which typically are odorless and colorless when poured into a drink, can cause varying degrees of sedation, from weakness to loss of consciousness and amnesia.
Undercover Colors is still in development by the students, who are looking for funding to bring it to market. They reportedly have received $100,000 from an investor, and have received $11,250 in prize money.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say nearly 1 in 5 women will experience rape during their lives. And 25 percent of women report that drugs were a factor in their rape, according to Day One, a sexual assault and trauma resource center.