by One Student co-founder Kelly Addington
Several friends have publicly and privately shared with me the recent story about a team of four students at North Carolina State University that are working to develop nail polish to detect drugs commonly used to facilitate sexual assault. While I appreciate that their goal is to help empower and protect women, I’m generally not a big fan of these types of tools. Rapists are in fact using Rohypnol and GHB to facilitate rape, so having the ability to detect these drugs in an easy and stylish manner is a good thing, but it takes the focus away from the number one drug used to facilitate rape, which is alcohol.
At the very least, the nail polish is a great conversation starter and I believe the best way to help reduce sexual violence is through discussion that inspires action. The nail polish may be a useful accessory, especially if it’s available in fun fresh colors, but it should be paired with education, on-going conversations with your peer group, a designated sober person and intuition (it’s a bad mama-jama in a good way). Speaking of education, I really wish the media outlets that are covering this story would stop using the term “date rape.” It’s an archaic term and it’s offensive. Drug facilitated rape is the appropriate term. Or if they really want to keep it real, call it what it is, rape.
One Student has a one-page resource dedicated to protecting yourself and your friends from drug facilitated assaults. Please check it out and pass it on. Thanks for sharing and thanks for helping us get important conversations like this started.