A Cup That Detects ‘Date Rape’ Drugs

0

By Tara Culp-Ressler on August 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm


 

CREDIT: DrinkSavvy.Inc

A Boston-based company is working to develop a line of cups and straws that will be able to detect so-called “date rape” drugs — odorless, colorless, tasteless substances that are nearly impossible to detect before they impair a victim’s consciousness. DrinkSavvy.Inc hopes to be able to release its cup and straw, which change color to indicate the presence of date rape drugs, at the beginning of next year.

The founder of the project, Mike Abramson, explains that he has personal experience with this type of drugging, often referred to as being “roofied.” He was once roofied while he was out drinking with his friends, and three of his close friends have also had drugs slipped into their drinks sometime over the past three years. “DrinkSavvy’s ultimate goal is to use the success of this campaign to convince bars, clubs and colleges to make DrinkSavvy the new safety standard and eventually make drug-facilitated sexual assault a crime of the past,” Abramson said in a promotional video to promote his new cup product.

Abramson’s product is in contrast to some deeply-ingrained societal attitudes about sexual assault — most notably, the idea that it’s women’s responsibility to avoid “dangerous situations” like going out to bars and drinking too much alcohol — that foster a victim-blaming rape culture. When victims come forward about being raped, whether or not they were drinking alcohol at the time of their assault often comes under scrutiny. Sexual assault prevention programs often suggest that women should just be more careful by going out in groups, making sure they don’t leave their drink unattended, and refusing to accept drinks from strangers.

Refreshingly, a cup that detects date rape drugs removes this dynamic. DrinkSavvy validates the fact that women may like to drink alcohol, and that’s okay, and they don’t have to stay sober in order to stay safe. Rather than expecting women to bear the burden of assuming their decisions will provoke a sexual crime against them, DrinkSavvy simply gives them the power to avoid ingesting sedatives without their consent — no matter who gave them the drink and how long they may have taken their eyes off of it.

DrinkSavvy’s products are also an important reminder that — unlike some other recent attempts to prevent sexual assault with innovative products, like when Indian engineers suggested that women should wear “anti-rape lingerie” — it’s possible to develop tactics to address sexual assault that don’t automatically place the onus on the victim. For every sexual assault program that is feeding into rape culture, there are others that are working to dismantle it.

For example, amid the current sexual assault crisis in the U.S. military, one naval base has implemented a program that makes rape prevention the responsibility of the potential aggressors rather than their potential victims. Sailors are encouraged to limit their alcohol consumption if they often become violent when drunk, call out their peers’ aggression toward women, and dial up a hotline number if they see someone making unsolicited advances. Sexual crimes on the base have dropped by 60 percent after just two years.
 

Written By: TARA CULP-RESSLER
continue to source article at thinkprogress.org

NO COMMENTS

  1. If the rapist knows the bar is using such glasses, all he has to do is swap with a plain one.

    It might be cheaper and wiser to have your own test fob.

    There is also the problem of a variety of date rape drugs. The rapist can take a glass home and experiment to find one it does not detect.

  2. The founder of the project, Mike Abramson, explains that he has personal experience with this type of drugging, often referred to as being “roofied.” He was once roofied while he was out drinking with his friends, and three of his close friends have also had drugs slipped into their drinks sometime over the past three years.

    Interesting. I’ve never heard of a guy being roofied. How common is it? Do guys roofie other guys? For what purpose? To steal from them? To amuse themselves at the victim’s expense? One less guy to compete with for attention of a female at the bar? Do gay guys roofie each other and then rape the victim or is it a straight guy thing?

    If this problem is so common then is it true that the drugs that are used to accomplish it are easy to obtain? If they are easy to obtain then why is that so?

    • In reply to #2 by LaurieB:

      The founder of the project, Mike Abramson, explains that he has personal experience with this type of drugging, often referred to as being “roofied.” He was once roofied while he was out drinking with his friends, and three of his close friends have also had drugs slipped into their drinks sometime…

      Potential reasons that I have heard of are:

      1. To get a laugh at the expense of the victim, it does not matter who they are. Sometimes this is also done by peoples “friends”.

      2. A scatter gun approach, any drink that can be drugged is. This is not to target a specific person, but to create a pool of potential victims. If there are a number of people doing this randomly, not necessarily working together or even known to each other, then there is a good chance of a person meeting the attackers target profile being drugged during the evening.

      3. To mask the real victim. One person acting overly drunk when everyone else is still sober stands out, drug a group and the victim is less likely to be noticed.

      4. Isolate a victim. If the attacker drugs the people who are likely to be looking out for their target victim then there is a better chance of isolating the target.

  3. Sexual assault prevention programs often suggest that women should just be more careful by going out in groups, making sure they don’t leave their drink unattended, and refusing to accept drinks from strangers.

    Refreshingly, a cup that detects date rape drugs removes this dynamic. DrinkSavvy validates the fact that women may like to drink alcohol, and that’s okay, and they don’t have to stay sober in order to stay safe.

    Really? I can’t believe how irresponsible this is.

Leave a Reply