Anti-assault innovations show prevalence of rape culture


We’ve seen a lot of inventions recently: nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with date-rape drugs in a drink, apps that alert family and friends when the user is assaulted and now, a locket.

It’s telling that so many inventions have been developed in an effort to combat or prevent sexual assault.

The Guardian Locket, created by Crystal Sanchez, is a locket that has a button on it. When pressed once, it makes the user’s phone ring as a distraction. When pressed twice, it sends three text messages to the user’s three emergency contacts via the corresponding application. Sanchez has just won a $25,000 prize to further develop this product.

While Sanchez’s product is valuable, it serves as a reminder that our culture is inherently flawed: assaults are enough of a norm that inventors continue to search for the best solution, but the problem remains that there isn’t a solution. There’s only the attempt to distract or disable an attacker, or to notify police or acquaintances to danger. There’s no guarantee that any item, from pepper spray to a modified locket, will prevent an assault with complete effectiveness.

And these innovations disregard a prevalent problem: acquaintance assault and rape. In a situation with a friend or person who’s known, it probably won’t be the inclination of a person trying to prevent the situation to immediately inform the police or get out their mace.



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