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Can a Nail Polish Prevent Rape?

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.

Read more: Love, Dating, Drugs, General Health, Mental Wellness, Relationships, Sex, Sexual Health, Women's Health

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Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon, creator of, is an award-winning journalist, avid gardener and fly-fisher. She lives in Northern Virginia on a half acre that always needs weeding. Please visit her on Twitter (@kaplan_lisa) and Facebook (Lisa Kaplan Gordon)


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12:55AM PDT on Nov 1, 2014

Thank you!

12:35AM PDT on Sep 26, 2014

Thank you!

2:10AM PDT on Sep 25, 2014

very good !

6:17PM PDT on Sep 16, 2014

what a great idea!! Certainly hope it works, need more protection out there for our young women

4:37AM PDT on Sep 15, 2014

I have had this happen to me. It is a horrible nightmare. I would hope a solution for this would have been found by now. If this works, it's a Godsend.

4:07PM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

Years ago, "Men against Rape" knocked on my door. They were fund-raising and letting folks know that they existed. Of course, this was in Berkeley - not "the real world." I remember being surprised. Now, I know that those men were ahead of their time. Bless them and the young men who are using their imaginations for good - to help end the "consensual rape culture."
Also, there is a vaginal device that works like a fish-hook. The inside is lined with barbs that angle up toward the belly button. Entrance is easy. Withdrawal is painful!

1:01PM PDT on Sep 9, 2014

Great idea.

1:14PM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

anything that helps prevent rape is marvellous.

11:23AM PDT on Sep 3, 2014

It's a good idea.

6:23PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

I actually overheard some 20ish girls talking about this a couple days ago- one said she had been 'roofied' before :(

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