Electric undergarment fights sexual assault with shocks

Amid a rising tide of rapes and sexual assaults in India, three engineering students devise an electrified undergarment they hope will help protect women from attack.

The SHE undergarment and the shock circuit board.
Manisha Mohan/Niladri Basu Bal/Rimpi Tripathi

Violence against women in India has come under the worldwide spotlight following the emergence of high-profile cases such as the gang-rape of a young woman in December. She later died from her injuries. In an effort to stem the violence, the Indian government is working on developing a wristwatch that would send out alerts for help. Three Indian engineering students also have joined the cause, creating an anti-rape undergarment that could provide a layer of protection for women.

Manisha Mohan, Niladri Basu Bal, and Rimpi Tripathi attend SRM University in Chennai. Their project is called SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment). The device is like a slip, to be worn under clothes. It has sensors and an electric shock circuit board built into it. The circuit is attached near the bosom and is designed to deliver an electric shock when an assailant comes into contact with it.

The inside of SHE is lined with an insulating polymer to protect the wearer from the shock. It is also equipped with GPS and GSM modules. The students' future plans include making the design more compact and connecting it to smartphones through Bluetooth, so the garment will be able to send out a distress call when needed.

The students explained their inspiration for the project: "Studying in a convent girls school, we were always taught to be good to everyone around and bear a cheerful smile. After stepping into the real, cruel world we realized that our smile could not last for long as the threat to our purity and integrity always lingered on -- since the lawmakers take ages to come up with laws and even after that, women are unsafe. Hence, we have initiated the idea of self-defense which protects the women form domestic, social, and workplace harassment."

The design earned the students a Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award for 2013.

SHE project creators
The students receive their award. Young technological Innovation Award

(Via Digital Trends)