by Liz Alterman
What if your daughter's manicure could save her from date rape? Sounds impossible, right?
Well, four guys, all students at North Carolina State University, have developed a nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB.
The masterminds behind the varnish that aims to protect women from becoming victims of the horrific but, sadly, not uncommon crime are calling their nail company Undercover Colors.
The entrepreneurs say their business is 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," the company's Facebook page says. "Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime."
Way to go, guys!
For any mom, the tween and teen years can be an unnerving experience as their babies begin dating and going to parties where most likely there won't be any other parents or chaperones present.
Whether their kids are in middle school or seniors in college, worries about safety are always in the back of a mother's mind. Moms of daughters have another set of concerns to think about, however: sexual assault and date rape.
And these aren't new dangers. I remember my mother telling me repeatedly before I left for college more than 20 years ago to never leave a drink unattended.
"Take it into a bathroom stall with you," she'd warned. "Just never put it down."
But any woman wearing this cutting-edge polish can tell if her cocktail has been tampered with just by giving it a quick stir with her fingertip, according to the creators.
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.
The invention couldn't arrive a moment too soon. Each year more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
"We may not know who they are, but these women are not faceless," the college students-turned-activists say. "They are our daughters, they are our girlfriends, and they are our friends."
Since joining Facebook in April, Undercover Colors has racked up more than 14,000 fans who are eager to support the life-changing nail polish.
"I cannot wait until this is available," writes one. "I will gladly buy CASES to give out to my students."
As the company and the product are still in the development stages, donations can be made to Undercover Colors on its website.
Will you buy Undercover Colors for your daughter or her friends?