New nail polish holds promise in date rape prevention

Think of five women you love: odds are one will be raped in her lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

What if an attack could be prevented simply by painting your fingernails?

You may have heard of this, a new nail polish that could detect if your drink has been drugged. 

Undercover Colors says women can use their fingers to stir a cocktail, and the polish changes color if it's been spiked with popular date-rape drugs like Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB. At least that's the concept, from four college guys.

“I would rather know someone's intentions, so if I could to dip my nail into it, and know if I'm safe or not, that would be rad,” says Chae Drake.

New records show that over the past two years, investors have chipped in $5.5 million to research the polish. Scientists are still testing it, but on their Facebook page creators promise new developments are coming in 2017.

“I usually have nail polish on; usually it's chipped, but I think it's a good idea,” says patron Maggie Stroh.  “If it just helps one person. I usually always feel safe, but I'm usually almost always aware of my surroundings,” says Stroh.

But some doctors worry the polish could paint a false sense of security by only testing for a few of the date rape drugs that exist.

And counselors fear the product covers up what's really important: talking about and actually stopping rape.

“What if the nail polish doesn't work? Why are we even having to do these things?” says Kathleen Kempke, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay’s Director of Sexual Assault Services.

Kempke says people can better protect a potential victim by stepping in to help before an attack happens.

“More so than whistles or nail polish or pepper spray is just being aware that something’s going to happen and doing something,” says Kempke.

(© 2016 WTSP)


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