Anyone that follows current events has probably heard of the gang-rape/homicide of a young lady in India last year. If you haven’t, I’m sure you have heard of other incidents of sexual assault of women. Three Indian engineering students became fed up with the slow movement of law enforcement to protect women against sex crimes, so they decided to invent something they hope will help prevent such horror stories: anti-rape underwear.
Dubbed Society Harnessing Equipment (SHE), the underwear uses pressure sensors to detect the attempted molestation of the person wearing the underwear and sends up to 82 electric shocks of 3,800 kV to the attacker. SHE also comes built-in with GPS which alerts police and the parents of the female.
To protect the wearer of the underwear from electric shock, the inside of the underwear is lined with a polymer which presumably insulates the shock.
UPDATE: There appears to be some confusion if the device is underwear or part of a larger undergarment (like a shirt); multiple sources that I’ve checked are reporting conflicting facts. Anyone with more knowledge on the matter, feel free to clarify.
The inventors of the device — Manisha Mohan, Rimpi Tripathi, and Neeladri Basu Pal — say they plan on creating a Bluetooth version which sends SOS via cellphone upon attack and hope to have the underwear go on sale by the end of April of this year.
While I do think anything to help protect women from sexual assault is better than nothing, I have to question how useful this will be practically speaking:
- First of all, how many woman will actually that extra bulk… especially in India where it can get extremely hot in the summer?
- Secondly, what is to prevent attackers from simply ripping off the underwear? From what I understand, electric shock will be administered if pressure sensors are triggered, assuming the attacker has to attempt penetration. What is to stop someone from ripping off the underwear prior to penetration?
- Thirdly, I’m no psychologist but I’m going to go out on a limb and say shocking the penis of a sex-craved rapist is probably only going to enrage him further. I’m not saying women should simply stop resisting and allow themselves to be raped but shocking the attacker could potentially backfire. Unless of course 82 shocks of 3,800 kV renders the attacker unconscious. Any physics pros out there want to help us out there?
- Lastly, this had better be error-proof or else malfunction could hurt the wearer where no one wants pain.
However, even with caveats, at least it is better than nothing… especially in nations where violence against women is not at the top of the priority ladder for law enforcement and government.