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Fashion Rings That Help Women Break Attackers' Anonymity

A fashionable ring that allows a girl to throw a jet of semi-permanent pink dye on the face of an attacker that marks him for 90 days. In addition, the ring box contains an illustrated manual on how to use the ring + one of the community-sourced stories of "superwomen" - real women who combated abuse. A community driven tele-support will be introduced in Phase 2 - through which a girl can speak to one of the "superwomen" via an anonymous phone call.

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A fashionable ring that allows a girl to throw a jet of semi-permanent pink dye on the face of an attacker that marks him for 90 days.

1. Rotate outer rim to “arm” the ring for ejection of dye. (Can be rotated even with one hand using thumb & index finger, after positioning the ring such that the rim faces index finger) 
2. Thrust the ring towards the face of the attacker to throw a jet of dye onto his face.

1. Rings can be easily refilled using refill cartridges.
2. The Dye-Chamber in the ring holds upto 8ml dye (lasts for 2-3 jets).
3. The approximate price of the ring: under Rs.100 (less than $2) 
4. The approximate price of the cartridge: under Rs.50 (less than $1).

The ring box will contain a graphical instruction manual PLUS a story of an inspiring woman who fought against abuse in some form or another. We call them “superwomen”. Women can submit their stories in a particular format through an online community if they are ready to talk openly about their story. Selected stories will be published in these manuals.

Over a period of time, each ring box is likely to have a different story – further increasing awareness & inspiration to fight against abuse as well as reducing the “taboo” associated with talking about it. In the longer run, it will also contain stories of men who fought against abuse of women to inspire other men.

Impact on the attacker:
Gets marked for 90 days. The shame of being marked will keep them away. Further, other men who see the face of a marked attacker will also get alarmed, thereby making the effect grow faster than what individual punishment can achieve. In case an official complaint is lodged, identification of the attacker becomes easy.

Impact on the woman using the ring:
It’s likely that some residual dye marks the woman’s finger(s). Though this is easy to hide, it might make it psychologically harder for them to “stay silent” about the threat they faced & thereby increasing awareness about the issue.

Impact on the surrounding:
Residual dye falling from the use of the ring will also mark the location where women are unsafe. This will allow other women to be alert in unsafe areas. If an area is heavily marked with the dye, then it also brings the issue to public attention and hopefully forces the local authorities to take action towards making the place safer.

Impact on the community:
Women wearing these rings can easily identify each other, resulting in the formation of a silent community of women who are willing to defend themselves & other women from abuse. Also, the more common these rings become, the less of a “taboo” it becomes for women to talk about these issues.

How can others help? 
(Ex: men in the community, friends, family members, NGOs, schools, politicians, companies, governments)
Individuals/Organizations can gift these rings or cartridges to girls they know. They can also store cartridges in order to give/sell to women around them until availability in local stores becomes commonplace.

Help us evolve our solution further:
(help us with these questions)
1. How do you think we can tackle the challenge of the dye marking nearby people in a crowded place like a crowded bus or a train?
2. Can a "spray" mechanism be incorporated instead of jet-ejection system without increasing the size of the ring or the cost by too much?
3. How can we make the dye have an additional effect similar to a "pepper spray"? Will it work without a "spray" mechanism in the ring?
4. Some women may not by ready to talk about their story immediately after an unfavourable incident. The residual dye on the finger will be a source of concern for such women. How can we help them? Should we provide access to the dye-remover solution through secure channels? ex: via our "superwomen" network?
5. How can some "distress signal" be incorporated? Ex: A whistle that goes off when the ring is used or anything else that can help in attracting help from nearby people. It would be desirable for this mechanism to work without needing any source of power.
6. Help us come up with a name for the rings!!!

Explain your idea in one sentence.

A fashionable ring that allows a girl to throw a jet of semi-permanent pink dye on the face of an attacker that marks him for 90 days.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

At an individual level, anonymity is the biggest advantage that attackers enjoy. At a social level, shame is the biggest threat that attackers fear. We use these two insights to address urban women's need for a simple & affordable way to protect themselves against abuse during the time of attack. In addition, we address the need of women who have suffered abuse to have easy access to a community that can understand & respond to their needs in an empathetic way.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

Primary beneficiaries: Urban women who live in cities where they face challenges of abuse, harassment, eve teasing & general safety. Monitoring success: By tracking the sales of rings + cartridges. (We know it sounds too commercial, but in our experience - it's the best way to measure if our solution really does what it claims to do for women. This also makes it sustainable + forces us to design the solution in a way that makes it affordable even to women from economically challenged backgrounds.)

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

We are geared to make this a reality by taking the social enterprise route. In India, we are looking to partner with organizations working on women's safety & women empowerment. We are also keen to work with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) departments of companies who are interested in improving women's safety in India. Internationally, we are looking for partners who can champion this initiative in their country.

Where should this idea be implemented?

We would start this in India. The first round of validation will happen in Mumbai, Bangalore & Delhi. We plan to expand to other cities after refining the solution + model further based on feedback from the validation round.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

We want to validate the idea by starting with 50 women each in 3 cities of India - Mumbai, Bangalore & Delhi. The key areas of observation & feedback collection will be: 1. Practical usage related issues, if any 2. Psychological barriers in "actually" using the ring to mark an attacker or an eve teaser. Understanding how girls decide the "threshold" beyond which they feel okay to use the ring. 3. Observing reactions from men who get marked through first-person narratives from women & if possible, through first-person narratives from men getting marked. 4. Getting feedback from local authorities, especially local police. 5. Getting feedback from friends, family of women who end up actually using the ring.


Join the conversation:

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I think this is a great idea! A visible sign of their attempt to assault!

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