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Preventing Date Rape With Crowdfunding

Aug 21, 13 Preventing Date Rape With Crowdfunding

According to the US Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, someone in the US is sexually assaulted every two minutes. 73 percent of those assaults were committed by a non-stranger. A lot of those rapes or assaults are affected through the use of so-called date rape drugs, which are odorless and tasteless. This makes them impossible for victims to have any warning they are in trouble.

Never fear, a new crowdfunded project to the rescue!

The Verge reports that soon your drinking glass or straw might be able to warn you if dangerous chemicals have been slipped into your drink. A company called DrinkSavvy will start shipping plastic cups and straws next month that change color if your drink contains GHB (Liquid E or Liquid G), Rohypnol (Roofies), or Ketamine (Special K). These are the three most commonly used drugs for spiking drinks.

Founder Michael Abramson — who was “roofied” himself during a night out — started the effort with a $50,000 Indiegogo campaign. For those of you who don’t know, Indigogo.com is website where you can pitch an idea, any idea, to the world at large and ask them to fund it for you. It’s incredibly hard to get traditional funding, but with crowdfunding each person can give as little or as much as they want. It adds up rather quickly.

Abramson worked with two Worcester Polytechnic Institute professors to create the cocktailware. The 16-oz glasses display red stripes, and the straws change from clear to red, in the presence of any of the drugs. DrinkSavvy hopes to have the product line available to the public in 2014. They will offer the glassware to rape crises centers free of charge, and hope that many colleges will use their technology as a central part of their rape prevention initiatives.

Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

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About 

April Flowers is a wandering gypsy, with a deep-seated conviction that every road she has not yet traveled is an adventure waiting to happen. Mentally and emotionally unable to stay in one place very long, April and her bright yellow Xterra can be found anywhere between Texas and South Dakota, following the wind. When she isn't hiking, kayaking, or flipping a coin to decide which way to turn on the next highway, she can be found writing everything from awesome redOrbit.com articles to a truly terrible novel and some stinky poetry.

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