South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers has created what she sees as a new weapon of defense for women against what is said to be one of the highest rape rates in the world. The device is Rape-aXe, a female condom with "teeth." The hooks inside are designed to latch on during unwanted penetration so that, “it hurts, he cannot pee and walk when it’s on… If he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter... however, it doesn't break the skin, and there's no danger of fluid exposure."

Ehlers has said that she has spoken to convicted rapists who have said that they would certainly have rethought their actions if they had known about Rape-aXe at the time of their crime. She hopes that when the device is removed (as it can only be by a doctor) there will be police on hand to arrest the perpetrator, establishing a punishment for a crime that has tended to remain normalized in South Africa and many other African countries.

Critics are saying that Rape-aXe would be another form of “enslavement” for the women wearing it, and that the device could in turn generate more violence for victims—or even death. It also has the potential to give women a “false sense of security,” or on the flip side, more of an overarching fear and anxiety that they will be assaulted.

Regardless, 30,000 of these free devices are being dispersed under supervision in South African cities during the World Cup games going on right now.

For more info, check out the article on CNN, or even Ehlers's website.

[image and info: CNN]

Tagged in: World Cup, teeth, South Africa, Rape-aXe, rape, female condom, africa   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.




blog comments powered by Disqus