Israeli Anti-Rape Date Straw Lets Women Take Back The Night

image-drinks-at-bar Date-rape risk at nightclubs and parties is high these days, but women will enjoy a safer night life  in the near future.

Easy access to odorless, tasteless knock-out drugs makes victimizing women easy. These drugs go by  hip names like Cat Valium, Special K, Bump, Ruffies, and, with horrible humor, Black Hole – referring to the unconsciousness and amnesia that victims experience.

A woman trying to bring her rapist to justice is all too often brushed off with a cold “You asked for it.” And a woman raped while drugged has no way to prove her claim, for the chemicals dissipate in the bloodstream within a few hours.

But soon a woman won’t have to wonder if the cute guy she’s chatting with is really OK. Chemists at the Tel Aviv University have invented a device with a sensor that changes colors instantly when popped into a spiked drink.

The inventors, Prof. Fernando Patolsky and Dr. Michael Ioffe, presented the technology at the Nano Conference 2011 in Israel. They say that the sensor can detect the most commonly used date rape drugs with 100 percent accuracy.

Dr. Ioffe adds, “Currently, the system is geared towards detecting GHB and ketamine. We hope to expand the system so it will identify additional date rape drugs as well.”

Now working on making the device small enough to carry in a purse, perhaps in the shape of a pen or straw, the researchers explain that all it takes to make it work is one tiny sip to draw liquid up. If the drink is drugged, the straw immediately changes colors. The sensor would come in a disposable cartridge that works two or three times, and would be inexpensive to replace.

While looking for added investors, Drs. Patolsky and Ioffe hope to offer the anti-rape date device for sale in the next year.

The state of Middle-Eastern women’s empowerment from Green Prophet:

Image of young people at a club or bar from Shutterstock.

7 thoughts on “Israeli Anti-Rape Date Straw Lets Women Take Back The Night

  1. Mike

    Hi Andrew,

    I’m very sorry to hear about your friends. Neither my friends nor I are strangers to the effects of such a heinous crime. I too laud ALL efforts to protect against drug rape. To set the record straight, I would recommend anyone take any reasonable measures to prevent drug rape.

    Contrary to Miriam’s comments, my point was certainly not to limit anyone’s willingness to use their technology in general, but simply to point out defects in their design…defects that DrinkSavvy products will have remedied. Such defects are overt and already front and center in the minds of would be users. For example, “it seems unlikely that women will test their drinks in public, especially on a one-on-one situation like a date, because it’s such an accusatory thing to do. What, are women supposed to run off to the bathroom with their drinks to be more discreet?” (http://www.thefrisky.com/2011-08-03/date-rape-drug-test/)

    My comments do nothing but state the obvious problems with their design, and proffer a better solution.

    Reply
  2. Andrew Tertes

    I have a friend who fell victim to rape drugs and was raped more than a decade ago. Like many other victims, she could not make a case against the perpetrators (2 of them), having just met them at a bar during a nationwide business conference. The pain and humiliation she faced from the event affected her life in many ways, including memory loss, massive weight gain, self-doubt, etc.

    I laud all efforts to protect others from date rape. Mike’s comments about “cumbersome” or “awkward” actions required by users may limit willingness by some to use the technology.

    Keep on working to make the “straw” easier to use.

    Good luck to all!

    Reply
  3. Mike

    Hi Miriam,

    Thank you for your comment (and your article). You are correct that we do ask for donations to help fund our research, but we certainly do not expect it from anyone. I’m sure you would agree that preventing drug-facilitated sexual assault is a laudable cause, and we do not see anything wrong with asking people who agree with what we are doing to help us in our mission that much faster.

    Sincerely,

    DrinkSavvy

    Reply
  4. Mike

    This is certainly a good start but taking the time to constantly test and re-test one’s drink is cumbersome and socially awkward. Their “straw” is only disguised as a straw (non-functional), and actually requires the user to take action by sampling a very small volume of the drink and mixing it with a testing solution in the straw. However, the straw itself does not actually change color.

    My company, DrinkSavvy, is developing normal functioning cups, straws, stirrers, and glasses, except that the cups, straws, stirrers, and glasses themselves will actually change color to warn the user. Our products will provide effortless and constant self-monitoring of your drinks all night. If you support what we are doing, like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SavvyTechnology and follow us on twitter (@drinksavvyinc).

    Reply
    • Miriam Kresh Post author

      Your Facebook site asks the public to donate money. The inventors of the device I reported on do not expect the public to fund their research or product.

      Reply

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