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Listen up ladies! A new nail polish will detect date rape drugs in your drink

How can a nail polish detect date rape drugs? The innovative new product, in development by four undergraduate guys from North Carolina State University, took home top honors at this year’s Lulu eGames – NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative for students to collaborate and develop solutions to real world challenges.

Listen up ladies! A new nail polish will detect date rape drugs in your drink
Listen up ladies! A new nail polish will detect date rape drugs in your drink
Red Nails / Wikimedia Commons

The nail polish, dubbed Undercover Colors, was co-created by Ankesh Madan, Stephen Grey, Tasso Von Windheim and Tyler Confrey-Maloney. The group took home first-place honors and $6,500 in the venture challenge.

The group’s Facebook page describes the product as a “nail polish that changes color in the presence of date rape drugs,” created by the “first fashion company working to prevent sexual assault.”

“Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime,” the team behind Undercover Colors said.

Date rape or predator drugs are generally homemade mixtures used as incapacitating agents to facilitate sexual assault of a passed out victim. Prescription drugs like Zolpidem (Ambien), Valium, Xanax or Rohypnol are added surreptitiously to a female’s drink. The polish will change color when a woman stirs her drink with the tip of her finger – a flirty move that doubles as a date-rape check.

Writes ABC News:

The team said they were inspired to invent the product because an estimated 18 percent of American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, according to National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, a study commission by the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense.

“They are our daughters, they are our girlfriends, and they are our friends,” says the Undercover Colors FB site.

The stats are sobering. According to the University of Sciences, approximately one in four college aged women is date raped or experiences an attempted date rape while away at college. More than three-quarters – 84 percent – of the women knew who their attacker was. At the highest risk are women between 16 and 24 years of age, and in almost every date rape case, alcohol is involved.

Writes uSciences.com:

In one study, approximately 33% of men said that if they could escape date rape without detection that they would rape someone. Twenty-seven percent of women who were date raped did not realize that what happened met the legal definition of date rape. Forty-four percent of women who have been date raped have considered suicide.

Those interested in making a donation toward the Undercover Color product development can do so here.

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