Three engineering students in India have developed lingerie that they claim has “anti-rape” features that will help women protect themselves against possible attacks.
The underwear — dubbed Society Harnessing Equipment — features GPS technology (to alert the police) as well as pressure-activated electrodes “capable of sending shock waves of 3,800 kV” Manisha Mohan, one of the developers behind the product, told the Times of India.
“A person trying to molest a girl will get the shock of his life the moment pressure sensors get activated,” he told the newspaper. The GPS link and a cell phone transmitter would also send an SOS text to emergency services “as well as to parents of the girl,” she said.
The circuitry for the GPS and sensor modules are both based near the bosom — as according to research on attempted rapes and sexual harassment, that is where women are first attacked, say the students.
Mohan and her fellow designers outlined the inspiration behind their design in the project profile:
“Studying in a convent girls school, we were always taught to be good to everyone around and bear a cheerful smile. After stepping into the real , cruel world we realized that our smile could not last for long as the threat to our purity and integrity always lingered on. Since the law makers take ages to come up with just laws and even after that, women are unsafe.”
The rape and death of a young woman in Delhi last year has highlighted the problem of sexual violence in India. The students cite both the Delhi gang rape as well as another incident in Bangalore as their impetus for finding a solution to the problem.
However the idea of an anti-rape device is not a new one. In South Africa the controversial ‘Rape-Axe’, a latex condom embedded with inward-facing barbs, was proposed in 2005 to mixed reception. Though theSociety Harnessing Equipment can reportedly deliver up to 82 shocks, it’s considerably tamer than the Rape-Axe. The students are hoping to make their design available for purchase in April.