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Local grandfather invents device to help deter sexual violence

Last Updated Nov 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm EDT


A local grandfather is trying to help curb the amount of sexual assaults in our region with a new device.

70-year-old Philip Cressman of Waterloo is President and inventor of ‘The Dazzeler‘– a device that fires a temporarily blinding strobe that creates visual spotting and is used to disorient and interrupt street harassment/assault.

Cressman says he got the idea after he and his daughters noticed that there was little assistance available for women being harassed in our region.

“I have three daughters and also grandchildren that are approaching puberty now. We’ve all been upset by the amount of sexual intimidation, let alone the assaults that have been going on. I happened to see some very bright LED lights, and thought that it might be a new approach to deter sexual harassment and possibly provide an escape from sexual assault.”

Cressman says he spoke with his daughters about the idea, and began to look at the ability to produce a strong enough light from a small, easy-to-carry device.

“We have two working prototypes currently. My daughters took it out to show hundreds of women and the response from those women — aging between 18 and 25 — they all thought it was wonderful and asked where they could purchase one.”

Cressman says they are still working on getting a production-run, and are using Kickstarter to help get proof on concept in terms of acceptance of the product.

“We hope to get it available to retail markets and Universities but at age 70, I’m more looking forward to just creating a product that is of real use. It is possible to patent our product, but we really just care about either getting this product in the hands of women or have someone copy me and create a product-equivalent in terms of use. This is all about just helping women and getting more of these devices out there.”