Readings — From the November 2014 issue

Safety in Knickers

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From the Indiegogo funding-campaign profile for AR Wear, described as “wearable protection for when things go wrong.” The company surpassed its $50,000 funding goal last year and is currently at work on a prototype.

We wanted to offer peace of mind in situations such as going out on a blind date, taking an evening run, “clubbing,” traveling in unfamiliar countries, and any other activity that might make one anxious. Our range of items will include assorted types and styles of underwear, running shorts, traveling shorts, etc., suitable for different situations and individual users. The garments must be very difficult for someone else to remove by force or stealth (in situations where the victim has had too much to drink, was drugged, or is asleep). They need to be resistant to pulling, tearing, and cutting, while being comfortable to wear during normal activities and fitting smoothly under formfitting outer clothing.

Since we did not find a single material that fulfilled these requirements, our solution was to strengthen specific elements of our garments. The waist, thighs, and central panels are protected with cut-resistant straps and webbing. Once the waist girth has been adjusted and secured with its unique locking device, the garment cannot be pulled down. Since a female’s waist measurement is generally less than that of her pelvic area, the waist strap can be locked at a comfortable position and still prevent unwanted removal. The thigh straps prevent the leg openings from being lifted or shifted to the sides. No product alone can solve the problem of violence against women. Nevertheless, a woman or girl wearing one of our garments will be sending a clear message.

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