The topic of rape-culture has often dilly-dallied around the idea of victim-blaming. It is an established fact that rape is never the victim’s fault – only the perpetrator. Yet, there is no dearth of anti-rape devices on the market, that help victims protect themselves from the attacker, or ward off any potential threat.
Although some of these products only exist in concept, these devices are mostly in the form of apps, wearable tech and some unbelievable contraptions that make us question the lengths that women have to go in order to create an environment of safety around themselves.
Here is a list of anti-rape devices across the world.
1. Watch Over Me App
WOM is a free app available on both Android and iOS platforms that allows the user to shake their phone in order to send out a distress call if they don’t have time to personally call or text law enforcement or their emergency contacts. Even if your phone is locked, shaking your phone makes the app activate the phone alarm, video camera and sends an alert to your pre-set emergency contacts.
The user can set a timer while travelling alone, and if they do not press the “I’m Safe” button before the timer runs out, friends and family are immediately given your location and any information you’ve uploaded. Updates can be in the form of texts, photos or videos. The beauty of the app is that it is activated based on inactivity, means you’ll be taken care of even if you’re separated from your phone.
Stiletto is a piece of wearable-tech, designed as a pendant that can be worn around the neck or on a bracelet. Apart from its stylish look, the device, with a single press, is capable of calling your set emergency contacts or the police. If you’re unable to speak for yourself, the automated voice assistant takes care of that for you. If the situation de-escalates, with a second press, you can confirm your safety.
3. Anti-Rape Buckle
This buckle prevents anyone from forcing open the wearer’s belt. The buckle is maze-like, has a complex code and a particular position to lock or unlock the buckle
4. Undercover Colours
Undercover Colour is a nail-polish that changes its colour when it comes in contact with a drink that has Xanax, Rohypnol, or GHB mixed it (date-rape drugs). To test if your drink has been tampered with, all you have to do is dip your finger and the nail paint will change its colour if your drink has been compromised.
5. Siren Ring
Siren is an alarm disguised as a ring which gives off an over 100 decibel sound to startle and distract an attacker from up to 50 feet away. The wearer has to turn the top of the ring to the left to trigger the sound. There is also a second’s delay to give the wearer an option to turn off the ring in case of a false alarm, or if the situation calms down.
6. Samiidha Bhavani
This is a gadget with multiple weapons combined. It is a multi-purpose extendable 9-inch rod which holds a distress siren, a strobe light, a GPS locator, a pepper spray, a pen knife and more. An older version also included a sewing kit compartment and another for vermillion.
7. Anti-rape Bangle
A man from Hyderabad claims he has made a bangle to enhance women’s security. How the device works – if someone attacks the woman wearing the bangle, she’ll have to tilt her hand in a certain angle which will automatically activate the device and give an electric shock to attacker.
Revolar is a wearable device that can be clipped onto keys or a pants’ pocket. A free app version is also available. While travelling, users can click the device a single time to let their contacts know they are safe, twice if they feel unsafe, and thrice if they are immediate danger. Users can also use the app version to give themselves a phone call, which plays a pre-recorded message, so the user can pretend they’re on a call to get out of an uncomfortable situation.