Nail Polish Prevents Date Rape

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Sommar Veverka, staff writer

The company Undercover Colors, started by four undergraduate male North Carolina State University students has invented a nail polish that can detect date rape drugs in alcoholic drinks. The goal of the company is to help prevent sexual assaults with the combination of modern chemistry and cosmetic products.
According to Kansas State University research, sexual assault occurs at a high rate in living quarters of universities. Date rape takes place in the victim’s own residence 60 percent of the time, 31 percent at other peoples living areas, and 10 percent of the time at fraternities. Date rape occurs off campus, in bars, workplaces, and dance clubs.
The purpose of the polish is for it to be a fashionable camouflage that allows women to paint their nails, but it also serves as a protection against rape. The polish is activated when in contact with an alcoholic drink. If date rape drugs are detected then the color will change, alarming the wearer that his or her drink has been drugged. The polish can detect common date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB.
“I think it’s helpful because you can always double check and make sure your drink is safe. There have been cases at my school, but I have been fortunate enough to not have experienced those bad situations or anything similar to it,” Miramonte graduate and Cornell University freshman Isabella Calderon said.
Although the polish is geared more towards women, it does not discourage men from using the product for their safety as well. A study through Brown University’s health promotion says, “Although women are more likely to be sexually assaulted, 10 percent of all sexual assaults and rapes happen to men.” The study also says that 90 percent of off campus rape involves alcohol use by the assailant or victim.
“I think it could be a good idea for men to use if they had a clear coat of polish or something that would be discrete. It is fairly common during fraternity rushing that pledges are forced to drink so they’re feasibly just as at risk to be drugged by their fraternity peers. Men are definitely at risk to be drugged in a party situation and they should have just as much of an opportunity to protect themselves as women do,” Miramonte graduate and University of Massachusetts freshman Devin Mottier said.
Undercover Colors’ slogan on its Facebook page says it all: “The Price of Date Rape Drugs from the First Fashion Company Working to Prevent Sexual Assault.” The company’s nail polish is not only a step toward prevention of sexual assault, but it alters the game in the cosmetic industry.