Crystal Sanchez calls this the “Guardian Locket,” and her teacher in the Southern California city of Lawndale calls it “perfect.” CBS in Los Angeles calls it “potentially life-saving,” and many may wonder why no one thought of it before now. After a friend of hers was raped, Sanchez invented a locket that hides a device that will alert authorities of the wearer’s location when they feel threatened or are under assault:

A young entrepreneur is being honored Tuesday in Beverly Hills for finding a new way to protect women against sexual assault.

Crystal Sanchez, 18, created the Guardian Locket, a unique safeguard worn around a woman’s neck disguised as a piece of jewelry.

“We live in a world where 1 out of 3 women has a chance at being sexually assaulted.

“These numbers are insanely high. Yet, we just live out our daily lives and most of us don’t do anything about it,” said
Sanchez, who focused on sexual assault against women in writing her senior thesis.

The locket uses a cellular chip to alert loved ones and the police that the wearer is being attacked through a discrete button on the back of the locket.

“When you click it once, it’ll send you a false phone call to ward off any predators that may be lurking around,” she explained. “With another two clicks, it’ll send your current location to the local authorities and whoever else you have listed on the app.”

It’s a clever way to leverage ever-miniaturizing communications technology to provide a security backstop for women. She won an entrepreneur contest, and might end up being well into her career before she finishes the first semester of her freshman year at UC Irvine. She’s working on a usable model to compete for a national prize of $25,000 this summer. Once she gets the locket to work in the field, Sanchez will seek more capital in order to expand the production of her invention, but hopefully that will not present much of a hurdle.

That would be a better outcome than the experience of the inventors of “Undercover Colors” had. Four undergrads at North Carolina State University thought they had produced a technological and inexpensive defense for women targeted for date-rape drugs with their new nail polish, which would react with a specific color change in the presence of common date-rape drugs. Unfortunately for them, feminists reacted with outrage over the invention, claiming that men should just be taught “don’t rape” rather than offer women easily accessible options for protection. This episode is recounted in End of Discussion, the new book from our friends and colleagues Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham, in some detail.

It will be interesting to see whether Sanchez gets a better reception for the Guardian Locket than Undercover Colors got — and if so, why. Hopefully Sanchez’ entrepreneurial approach will win converts, and eventually save lives. More power to her.