A Bendigo invention is centre stage in the campaign against drink spiking.
Entrepreneur Michelle Hoffman has developed the “Slip me not”, a plastic cover that protects drinks from spiking.
Ms Hoffman was inspired to create the product after a family friend had her drink spiked and ended up ill for a week.
“I was so upset about the issue I decided to do something about it,” she said.
“I am the mother of three adult kids, too, and I’m very concerned about them going out and getting their drinks spiked.
“I don’t want my daughters out there without some sort of protection.”
In her market research, Ms Hoffman was shocked to learn how widespread the problem of drink spiking was.
She said she went out one night to Bendigo pubs and clubs and every single one of the 30 women she spoke to said they had fallen victim to it.
Last month a 23-year-old man was found outside Bendigo’s HuHa nightclub with a vial of date-rape drug GHB and a syringe.
Drugs like GHB can have potentially fatal consequences, affecting breathing and stopping the heart.
“I want young girls and women to be protected,” Ms Hoffman said.
“I want them to be able to go out and enjoy themselves without being worried.”
The idea of a drink seal came to her as a vision and was developed to be recyclable, non-toxic, easy to use and inexpensive.
Ms Hoffman believed in her invention so much she and her husband sold their house and used the money for product development.
That was five years ago and since then Ms Hoffman has got herself a business coach, found a manufacturer in China, joined the Bendigo Ideas Club, and asked lots of questions. But with the patenting process long and costly, Ms Hoffman needs another injection of funds before she can officially launch the “Slip me not”.
She hopes to raise $100,000 through crowd funding website pozible.
“It’s the last hurdle, because we can’t sell anything else,” she said.
To support Ms Hoffman’s invention visit www.pozible.com/slipmenot