The bra, an iconic symbol of femininity and sexuality, has been given a new purpose: protecting women against rape. Inspired by the beating and gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in India, the new electrial zapping bra is the latest in "wearable technology."
Manisha Mohan, one of the co-creators of the new bra, is an aeronautical engineering student at SRM University in the Indian city of Chennai. And as a citizen of a country thrust into chaos and unflattering light in the wake of the brutal December 2012 New Delhi attack and subsequent death of the unnamed rape victim, Mohan decided to put her technical skills to use to spare more women from similar fates.
Mohan helped create an anti-rape device that’s incorporated into a woman’s bra. The device, which delivers a 3800kv electric shock to a would-be sexual offender, is aimed at reducing incidences of ‘Eve-teasing,’ a term widely used in India that refers to a host of indecent and lewd sexual acts including molestation, flashing, unwanted verbal or physical sexual harassment, and groping or touching that falls just short of rape.
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The Institute of Marital Science in Mumbai
estimates a woman in India is molested every 26 minutes, is raped every 34 minutes, and is the victim of some form of sexual harassment every 42 minutes.
The bra dubbed “SHE” (Society Harnessing Equipment) hopes to reduce those numbers.
The wearable technology is fitted with a pressure sensor connected to an electric circuit that delivers the volts to sexual attackers. It also acts as a messaging system as it’s equipped with technology that can send a text message to a relative, friend and/or the local police station that includes the GPS coordinates of the victim’s location.
Wearers needn’t worry the undergarment lacks comfort or could accidentally deliver them an unwanted electric jolt.
“Firstly, the system is placed in a bi-layer fabric, which ensures insulation to the victim,” said Mohan.
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And wanted physical contact won’t be stifled, either. Mohan said the pressure values for squeeze, pinch and grab have been calibrated.
“The force applied on hugging does not satisfy the conditions for actuation of the device, and there is also a self-actuation switch where a woman can actuate it by herself when in unsafe environment,” she said.
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