The beauty tool that can protect you from drug rape

Caitlin Krause reveals the beauty tool that can protect you from drug rape. Look fabulous and stay safe in one simple move - what more could you want? 

In England and Wales alone, approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped every year, and around half a million are sexually assaulted. One form of rape that is particularly prevalent is drug rape. Drug rape is defined as sexual assault or rape that is committed after the perpetrator has administered drugs to their victim. According to the England and Wales Rape Crisis organization, the drug most commonly used is Rohypnol, but even prescription drugs can be used, as can alcohol. Whether the drugs have been administered with or without the victim’s knowledge, if someone is incapacitated they cannot consent and it is illegal to have any sexual contact with them.

Four undergraduate engineering students at North Carolina State University decided to act after one of their mutual friends was drug raped at a university party. They created Undercover Colours, a nail polish that changes colour if it detects that there is as drug in your drink. All you need do is swirl your drink with your finger and you’ll know in seconds if there is Rohypnol, Xanax, or GHB. In a press release on the Undercover Colours Facebook page, the founders explained that, ‘we hope to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink because there’s now a risk that they can get caught. In effect, we want to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators’.

Whilst the overall reception of Undercover Colours has been positive, some have criticized the company for promoting victim-blaming. They see the nail polish as perpetuating the common, but incorrect, idea that the victims have to be on the alert for potential attacks, and if they are raped it was because they were not careful enough. It shifts the blame to the victim instead of the perpetrator. Undercover Colours has responded to these concerns by clarifying that ‘The only perfect solution to drug induced sexual assault is ending it altogether. As we all work toward that ideal, Undercover Colours’ technology provides wearable protection’. I find this product provides me with a sense of security I would not otherwise have.

Due to release in 2017, Undercover Colours will be joining the ranks of other self-defence beauty products, such as pepper spray disguised as a lipstick, a stun gun the resembles an iPhone, and a hairbrush that hides a dagger in its handle, all of which can be found at Armed in Heels online website. Remember, in cases of sexual violence, the blame lies fully with the perpetrator, but if these self-defence products offer you peace of mind when you go out, I see no harm in them. In the end, if these products can protect even one victim then it has done its job.

If you have survived sexual violence and are seeking help or someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800.656.4673