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Jun 01 2017
by Victoria Cheng

These High School Students Developed a Straw That Can Detect Common 'Date Rape' Drugs

By Victoria Cheng - Jun 01 2017
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With the goal to help solve the global problem of rape, these three high school students invented a straw that can detect if a drink is spiked.

Susana Cappello, Carolina Baigorri and Victoria Roca all met in their entrepreneurship class at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida. They were put into a group and told to come up with a business idea. The three girls decided to take this beyond the scope of a classroom and tackled a global problem: Rape.

“One of the first global problems that we researched was rape, so we quickly decided to come up with a possible solution,” Roca said. “Since we are at the age very close to college and have siblings and/or family members who are already at university, we know of the rape culture and drugs that are involved.”

According to RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, about 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men experience sexual violence such as rape and sexual assault through physical force during their time in college.

To combat this problem, the three girls came up with Smart Straws, an “eco-friendly plastic straw with a rape test detector of the most common drugs: GHB and Ketamine.” The tester stripes turn navy blue when they come into contact with those drugs, alerting the users that their drink is spiked. 

smart straw.co

Planning to make Smart Straws easily available to make a social impact, the founders are pushing to sell their product worldwide and have created a website to expand their reach.  

“We will soon be launching a kickstarter campaign,” Cappello said. “In addition, we will be contacting organizations like RAINN and other organizations that are involved in supporting people who have been a victim of sexual violence, rape, etc.”

The founders hope their product will help prevent rape, lower the alarmingly high statistics and make the world safer for everyone.

“We hope to not only help the lives of women, but also for men, because men too can be a victim of rape,” Baigorri said. “Therefore, we hope that our Smart Straws can be a product that will bring awareness to the global problem of rape and hopefully decrease the global statistics of rape drugs in drinks, especially at social scenes.”

Lead image: Smart Straw  

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Victoria Cheng -

Victoria Cheng is a freshman studying journalism at Baruch College in New York. She loves to drink tea, read and sing just about any type of music. Follow her on Instagram @itsviccctoria

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