The music at the party is loud. To hear what her friend is saying, the teenage girl turns her head around, removing her eyes from her drink for a split second. Just enough time for someone to slip something into her glass. A guy has been observing her and waiting for the moment that she would look away. A little while later the girl starts feeling unwell and stumbles on her way to the restrooms. That’s when she is assaulted.
Many rape cases begin with the victim being drugged, something Carolina, Susana and Victoria, three high school students, wanted to put an end to. They decided to put their heads together and came up with an invention that would reveal perpetrators before they are able to strike.
Susana Capello, Carolina Baigorri and Victoria Roca haven’t even finished high school yet but can already take credit for an invention that could save lives. “Smart Straw” is a straw which reveals if there are any drugs in your drink, warning any potential victim of being drugged and preventing them from an attempted rape.
“It’s a real and growing problem, our goal is to reduce the statistics,” Susana Capello tells Miami Herald.
GHB and ketamine are the most common so-called “date rape drugs”, and often slipped into potential victims’ drinks, leaving them passed out and making them easy targets for rapists. Susana, Victoria and Carolina’s goal was to find a way that would reveal whether a drink has been spiked, since it can be difficult to keep an eye on your glass every second at a party.
As young teenage girls, Susana, Victoria and Carolina were in tune with how difficult it could be for women when being offered drinks at a bar. They thought it could be valuable for women to have a sure – and yet discreet – way to know whether someone was trying to spike their drink.
The result was a straw that changes color to blue if placed in a drink that has GHB or ketamine in it.
“We were really passionate about this so we kept on pursuing it,” says Susana.
The hard work paid off. The three girls have now won first prize in the Miami Herald’s competition The Business Plan challenge. Their next goal is to patent the straw so that they can mass-produce the invention, saving more lives.
Young people are our future and it’s people like Susana, Carolina and Victoria that help make the world a safer and better place. Please share to praise their hard work in preventing rape.