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In the wake of the horrific gang rape in Delhi last December, Indian women are taking to the streets in protest and even creating products to help prevent rape. Three engineering students have come up with anti-rape lingerie that will literally shock an assailant with electricity if they attack someone who is wearing it. The underthings, named SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment) are also equipped with GPS and the ability to text emergency services and the girl’s parents to alert them of her location and situation. The trio created the electro-shock underwear because they felt helpless that the government wasn’t doing enough to protect women.
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Currently in Delhi, 96% of women feel unsafe going out into the city at night and fear being raped. This shocking statistic is only the more shocking when you delve into the state of affairs or read more about the very recent gang rape catastrophe. While protests and political activism are helping bring about new laws that prosecute sexual assaulters, many rapes still go unreported.
Feeling helpless even with the new laws, Manisha Mohan, Niladri Basu Bal, and Rimpi Tripathi, engineering students from SRM University in Chennai took matters into their own hands to create SHE, a wearable device that helps stop rape. The underwear is equipped with sensors and an electric shock circuit board, which is integrated into the bosom area. Surveys have shown that most women are first attacked near her chest, so this seems to be the best place to place the the devices. When an attacker comes after the girl, the sensors go off and the assaulter gets a shock of 3,800 kV. Also equipped with GPS and text messaging, the device sends a text to emergency services and the girl’s parents along with location data.
The product is still under development and the two girl and guy team are working on using new textiles and integration so it can all be washable. They would also like to integrate the wearable with a smart phone, Bluetooth and infrared. Jezebel makes an incredible point in that while this anti-rape device is incredible, it also only affects the symptoms of a much larger problem – the victimization of women. Major cultural shifts need to happen, and quickly.