Rabat – A Japanese stationary company has sold all 500 of the anti-groping gadgets produced for a trial-run of the product.
Customers can use the device, about the size of a lip balm tube, to put an invisible ink stamp on the hand of a groper. Later, if police shine an ultraviolet light on the offender’s hand, the stamp appears with the image of a small hand. Offenders can wash the ink off, however.
Hirofumi Mukai, the company spokesman of Shachihata stationary company, said the product sold out within an hour of its launch on Tuesday, August 27.
The small device costs ¥2,500 (MAD 226) and is intended to be used by women who experience groping, especially on crowded trains. Tokyo police “recorded 1,750 cases of groping or molestation,” the Independent reports.
Morocco has also grappled with the harassment and assault of women in public. A group of teenagers attacked a woman with a mental disability on a bus in Casablanca in August 2017. A video of the incident sparked public uproar in Morocco.
In another viral video from March 2018, a Moroccan man tried to remove a woman’s clothes while she kicked him in self defense.
Last year, Parliament passed Law 103-13 on the “Elimination of Violence Against Women,” setting increased penalties for sexual harassment and assault.
Shachihata did not address the potential for abuse, for example, if a person chose to stamp non-offenders with the anti-groping gadget as a prank. Some activists, however, complained that the device makes money from harassment prevention, putting the onus on women to defend themselves, according to the BBC.