High School Girls Invent Subtle Way To Detect Date Rape Drugs

by
Laurel Dammann
Three teenagers invented a simple tool to combat rape that they hope can be taken out of the classroom and put into the hands of those who may need it.

A high school project has turned into an opportunity to save people from a terrible crime.

In their entrepreneurship class at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida, Victoria Roca, Susana Cappello, and Carolina Baigorri designed a straw that can detect the most common date rape drugs. 

“We know it’s not a solution because it can’t end rape, but we were hoping to lower the amount of rape and dangerous situations you might be in through drugs," Baiggori explained to Inside Edition.

The simple plastic straw has two strips that work to detect drugs when placed in a drink. If the drink has been drugged, the strip will turn navy blue. The subtlety of the device can help the intended victim identify a bad situation while giving them the space to choose how they address the issue.

The straw can detect commonly-used drugs, such as roofies (Rohypnol), gamma hydroxybutyric (GHB), and Special K (ketamine), among others.

"Our impact is just to help people feel safe in their surroundings and be aware of what’s going on and just to make sure that where they are, and what they are drinking, is safe," Cappello said.

The girls said they hope that their invention can also deter sex traffickers, who often use date rape drugs to take advantage of their victims.

A patent on the straw is currently in the works and, when finalized, the girls will be able to market their product. The three teens explained that their ultimate goal is to serve colleges in combating the high prevalence of sexual assault on campuses.

The inspiring theme of this entire story is how these girls are approaching their work from a feminist standpoint. The high schoolers understand that rape and sexual assault are linked to deeper cultural problems that no date rape drug detector can fix. They do not propose their straw as a solution to rape nor do they place the responsibility of preventing rape on the victims rather than the rapist. But what they are doing is offering an escape route while we figure out how to smash the whole prison of rape culture.

Read More: The Cost Of Rape: Survivors Of Sexual Assault Are Paying Billions

 

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