Keeping students safe should be one of the top priorities on all university campuses. As students, we crave the college experience, which includes football games, all-night study sessions and weekends out with friends to relax after a long week of school. However, it’s no secret that some weekends don’t turn out the way one expects them to.
There are some people in the world who go out to have a good time with whoever and whenever they want, whether that other person is interested or not. Even though rape and sexual assault are illegal, they are crimes that occur too frequently on college campuses. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics 2010 report, women are more likely to become victims of sexual assault or rape. According to the report, there were four times as many female victims than male victims in 2010.
There are many ways to get help and support after experiencing something as catastrophic as rape, and that is a good tool to have in today’s world. It is great that there are people who want to help others.
However, it would be ideal to catch the perpetrator before any harm came to the victim. A group of students from North Carolina State University had this same thought and decided to do something about it. According to a Newsweek article called, “Controversy Over Student Nail Varnish Date Rape Drug Detector” by Natalie Ilsley, in 2014 a nail polish was invented that detects common date rape drugs by the changing of colors. Some organizations don’t agree with the use of this nail polish though, because they believe it plays into the rape culture of society today.
The nail polish works by being applied to the fingernails before a party or event. If one’s drink has been spiked, if they dip their fingernails into their cup, the nail polish will change colors. The polish detects such drugs as Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB.
It seems like something a group of girls would come up with, but in fact it was a group of four guys. Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tasso Von Windheim and Tyler Confrey-Maloney are the creators of this product. According to the article, the boys said they have each known someone who has been the victim of an assault or rape, and so this issue hits close to home with them. In Ilsley’s article, the boys claim their product is meant to empower women with the knowledge of what’s in their drinks. Instead of focusing on helping women after this “terrible experience” they wanted to make “preventive solutions”.
Katie Russell from Rape Crisis England and Wales doesn’t agree with the intentions of the group’s nail polish drug detector. According to the article, she believes this leaves room for women to believe the assault was their fault and they are responsible for preventing it.
Her concerns may have some merit, but the polish isn’t meant to make women feel that they’re purposely attracting the sort of people who would take advantage of them. Bad things can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are or what you’re wearing. The polish is merely a tool used to give women a little edge when facing these problems when they’re out. Just like pepper spray or a Taser, the polish is to help prevent someone doing something the victim doesn’t want to happen.
The group of boys posted on their Facebook profile page that they hope the selling of the nail polish will instill fear into any perpetrators. Someone who actively tampers with someone else’s drinks will probably think twice about it if they know there’s a possibility of being caught.