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Anti-rape locket earns $25k in startup funds

By Marilyn Malara
Anti-rape locket earns $25k in startup funds
A Guardian Locket prototype in the making. When completed, locket is expected to be able to contact authorities in the event of a sexual assault. Photo by GuardianLocket/Instagram

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A teenage CEO has been granted $25,000 in startup funds to help develop her anti-rape locket prototype.

Crystal Sanchez, 18, is the recipient of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship's Regional Youth Challenge in Los Angeles for her idea for the Guardian Locket, a piece of jewelry capable of contacting authorities in a case of sexual assault.

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"We live in a world where one out of three women has a chance at being sexually assaulted," Sanchez said, according to CBS Los Angeles. "These numbers are insanely high. Yet, we just live out our daily lives and most of us don't do anything about it."

Fresh out of high school, the young entrepreneur and social justice advocate focused her energy on creating a practical safeguard against sexual assault and rape. Using a cellular chip and smart phone application, her {link:Guardian Locket:"http://www.guardianlocket.com/buy/" target="_blank"} can be used to ward off potential assailants and contact the authorities and other emergency contacts in the event of an assault.

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"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."

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Determined to be a driving force in the anti-rape movement, Sanchez's idea for her locket reportedly came from a thesis she penned as a senior in high school. USA Today reports the paper argued that American society fundamentally allows rape culture to perpetuate.

"Crystal's passion for her product and for entrepreneurship, especially being a young female CEO, is incredible," said NFTE summer program manager Monique Villa. Sanchez participated in a two-month summer workshop called Startup Summer, where she matured her locket prototype and eventually won the $25,000.

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"She has taken all of that brain power and resources and put in the 24-hour entrepreneur model into her work," Villa added.

Sanchez reportedly plans to launch her official business next summer, using the prize money to further develop the locket and accompanying business.

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