(Memphis) You might call it a modern day chastity belt. It’s a product its makers say will keep women from being attacked, a new piece of clothing being marketed as anti-rape underwear.
The video advertising the new AR Wear begins by reminding women about one of the things they fear most being defenseless against an attacker.
The manufacturer claims these boy-short-looking panties lessen your chances of being raped. They say the anti-rape underwear resists being pulled down or even cut.
Only the wearer can get them off using a special combination.
“I think it's an overreaction. I think they’re marketing to fear instead of marketing to prevention,” said Anna Whaley, director of the Rape Crisis Center.
Whaley said she worries the confidence and protection the underwear promises to provide may not keep you safe at all.
Whaley said, “What I worry about is people having some false sense of security because they're wearing these panties. They think they're safe and this is just not true.”
The company says the frustration of not being able to remove the panties could send a rapist running but Whaley worries that won’t necessarily be the case.
“If an offender came upon a woman wearing these panties and they couldn't get the panties off they might become more violent. They might physically assault her or orally assault her,” said Whaley.
Those who run the rape crisis center say the best way to stop rapes is for young men not to rape.
The other important thing they want women to remember, especially when out enjoying themselves for a night on the town, is to not put themselves in a position to be taken advantage of.
“Frequently, that's a young lady who has had too much to drink, somebody who will get in the car with somebody they don't know and that's where the problems sometimes happen,” said Whaley.
Whaley says perhaps the inventors' idea was well intended, but she just wants anyone out there considering buying a pair of this underwear to be aware they may come with some unintended consequences.
The underwear isn't for sale yet, but the company says they should cost between $50 to $60.
When asked about proof the AR Wear helps prevent assault, the company told us this:
“Statistics show that resisting assault, whether by forceful or non-forceful means, increases the chance of avoiding a completed rape without making the victim more likely to be physically injured. In some (certainly not all) cases of assault, our product would prevent a completed rape by creating a delay. We do not claim that this product completely prevents rapes or solves the issue of rape: We are claiming that our products present a substantial barrier that should cause enough delay to prevent rape in some common circumstances of assault, as presented in our campaign.” – AR Wear Spokesperson