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5 Tools to Prevent Sexual Assault

by Abby Thompson
October 19, 2016 | Our Future

Here’s the deal everyone, let’s be blunt. Sexual assault and rape is unacceptable. It is scarring, it is humiliating and it is wrong. It can cause contraction of STDs, unwanted pregnancy, PTSD and can alter someone’s life to the extremely negative. In order to have sex with someone you need one important thing. Guys, I’m looking at you: it’s not Axe body spray, it’s consent.

Luckily, understanding consent is easy if you just pretend that sex is a cup of tea.

If consent is so simple, why are one in six women sexually assaulted? If you ask me, I think it comes with a lack of respect for women. It’s hard to blame the perpetrators entirely for this situation, however. Yes, they are having nonconsensual sex, and yes it is horrific, but our culture and society condones this behavior from a young age.

Take the common phenomenon in middle and high schools of sending girls home or to detention because of the clothes they are wearing. Clothes like tank tops are considered too revealing or sexual for the male students. Apparently, seeing a bare shoulder can cause all kinds of problems. But here's the thing—sending girls home for the clothes they are wearing perpetuates the message that girls and their bodies are the problem. Even though it seems obvious that young men should be expected to show young women respect.

But let’s be real, this isn’t happening. We have a man running for president who has been recorded condoning sexual assault, and is being charged for assaulting a girl who was the age of 13 during her alleged assault. Our government, and frankly our culture, pushes these issues under the rug, because giving rapists “a prison sentence would have a severe impact” on them, according to Judge Aaron Persky who presided over the infamous Stanford case.

So what are we supposed to do? We shouldn’t have to defend ourselves from the same species as us, but we do. Luckily, in the age of so much technology at our fingertips, there are options designed specifically to keep you safe.

1. Consent

See explanation above. (Still don't understand? Read it again. Repeat as needed.)

2. Athena

This is like a stylish new version of “Life Alert,” except instead of needing to call the police, because “you’ve fallen and can’t get up,” this will call loved ones or emergency officials to come to the rescue during a dangerous and possible life threatening situation.

3. Undercover Colors

My mom always told me when I was in a public place, never to leave my drink unattended no matter what’s in my cup. However, with Undercover Colors, I can be a little more relaxed about worrying someone is going to "roofie" me. This product is a nail polish line that detects date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Ketamine, Ecstasy, and other roofies by changing colors when a finger is dipped into a drink to “discreetly” stir.

4. Disguised Pepper Spray

This is an oldie but a goodie. When I went off to college my dad got me a bottle that was disguised as makeup “just in case”. If for any reason you feel scared out there, just whip out that reflective tube and people will think it’s a lipstick.

5. Wild Kat Keychain

This is a stylish way feel safe when you’re walking around campus. This keychain can clip right onto your backpack and can be used as a kind of brass knuckles that can help in defending yourself.

Frankly, I wish I didn’t have to write a list of items humans need to protect themselves from other humans. Yet, the soaring statistics show that this is a problem, a major problem that impacts everyone. We all have a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend... even if we do not realize it, we all know victims of sexual assault. We need to change that.

Abby Thompson
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