Anti-rape technologies date back to the chastity belts of the 15th century but in modern times, we have seen a “slew of aggressive anti-rape products” promoted around the world, from the anti-rape tranquilizer of the 1970s to The Trap of the 1990s and the “killer tampon” of the 2000s, writes Sirin Kale.
But do these technologies deliver real protection or just a hyped-up sense of security?
While the older devices mentioned above only worked only after a woman had been penetrated, a recent wave of innovative devices have been designed to intervene sooner. For example, an app called “Circle of Six,” launched in 2011, was designed to send out “a message to trusted contacts, asking them to intervene when the person feels unsafe in a given situation,” notes Kale.
The biggest problem with these modern anti-rape apps and devices, however, is that they still put the onus of preventing rape on the victim alone. And none, Kale argues, “innovates towards the obvious solution to ending sexual violence: discouraging rapists from committing acts of sexual assault, whether through education initiatives or by helping to catch and prosecute more rapists.”