College Freshman Invents Necklace to Prevent Sexual Assault

Crystal Sanchez, 18, created the first necklace with a purpose to prevent assault and change the rape culture that is prevalent in the United States. The University of California – Irvine freshman was awarded earlier this month with $25,000 to make her plans for a unique safeguard become a reality.

Sanchez’s creation, the Guardian Locket, is protection disguised as a piece of jewelry. The seemingly-normal looking locket uses a cellular chip to distract an attacker and alert contacts that the person wearing it is in danger. The locket’s hidden purpose is operated by a button on the back that, once pressed, starts the owner’s phone ringing in order to distract the attacker. If pressed twice, three text messages are sent to the user’s top three emergency contacts, which can be selected on the Guardian Locket App.

According to the Guardian Locket website, the product is both “a piece of jewelry and a guardian angel.” The Guardian Locket’s mission is to reduce the amount of sexual assaults happening in America. Five dollars from each locket sold will go to Peace Over Violence and Take Back the Night.

“When you think about statistics, it’s too much,” Sanchez said to USA Today earlier this month. “It’s too much to see men, women and children being victims of this. Why not try to combat this issue by creating a product that could help people?”

Sanchez originally thought of the idea for the Guardian Locket back in her senior year of high school and has continued developing plans since. She presented her idea on October 6 at the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York and walked away with a winning title and $25,000.

USA Today reports that Sanchez hopes to launch her business by August 2016.

“I want to create an impact in this world,” Sanchez said. “And I want to make sure I’m helping people to stay safe.”