Is This Product the Future of Rape Prevention?

Playing New Smart Napkin Detects Spiked Drinks

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The Doctors share some scary statistics: 1 in 13 college students believe they have been given a spiked drink and of those students, 14% of them reported sexual encounters because of that. 

College student Danya is the creator of “KnoNap,” a napkin which can test for date rape drugs. While studying abroad in Spain, Danya says her drink was spiked and she was taken advantage of. She shares that it was by someone she knew and surprisingly, 70% of assaults occur between two people who know each other. Furthermore, 90% of all assaults occur when either the victim or the attacker is consuming alcohol.

Watch: What to Do If You're Sexually Assaulted

KnoNap originated from a college project for Danya's “Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership” course. Danya explains she wanted to create a product that is both discrete and gender inclusive. She says all you have to do is place a few drops of a drink on a specific area of the napkin and if the drink has been spiked, the napkin will change colors.

Danya says they have been testing for a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which encompass over 26 drugs which can be used as rape drugs. She says the only product currently on the market tests for just two drugs but she’s hoping hers will test for way more.

Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra asks Danya about the criticism she has received. Danya notes that she does not want her company to be just a napkin company. Her mission goes beyond just empowerment through tools but also includes education and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence. 

Watch: How the System is Failing Rape Victims?

The Doctors discuss possible hurdles for KnoNap. Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says if this takes off, won’t some people take offense if they are out with someone who uses the napkin? ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says he read two-thirds of spiked drinks occur in college apartments or dorms so it shouldn't be difficult for someone to discreetly go to the bathroom to test out their drink. His bigger concern is if there are either false negatives or false positives. Dr. Batra says people may say having to do this puts too much responsibility on the victim but she believes the more tools the better.