Sun 20 Jun, 2010 03:58 pm
What do you think about this? Could it actually work?
CNN) -- South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers was on call one night four decades ago when a devastated rape victim walked in. Her eyes were lifeless; she was like a breathing corpse.
"She looked at me and said, 'If only had teeth down there,'" recalled Ehlers, who was a 20-year-old medical researcher at the time. "I promised her I'd do something to help people like her one day."
Forty years later, Rape-aXe was born.
Ehlers is distributing the female condoms in the various South African cities where the World Cup soccer games are taking place.
The woman inserts the latex condom like a tampon. Jagged rows of teeth-like hooks line its inside and attach on a man's penis during penetration, Ehlers said.
Once it lodges, only a doctor can remove it -- a procedure Ehlers hopes will be done with authorities on standby to make an arrest.
"It hurts, he cannot pee and walk when it's on," she said. "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 said she sold her house and car to launch the project, and she planned to distribute 30,000 free devices under supervision during the World Cup period.
"I consulted engineers, gynecologists and psychologists to help in the design and make sure it was safe," she said.
After the trial period, they'll be available for about $2 a piece. She hopes the women will report back to her.
It hurts, he cannot pee and walk when it's on. If he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter
--Dr Sonnet Ehlers
"The ideal situation would be for a woman to wear this when she's going out on some kind of blind date ... or to an area she's not comfortable with," she said.
The mother of two daughters said she visited prisons and talked to convicted rapists to find out whether such a device would have made them rethink their actions.
Some said it would have, Ehlers said.
Critics say the female condom is not a long-term solution and makes women vulnerable to more violence from men trapped by the device.
It's also a form of "enslavement," said Victoria Kajja, a fellow for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the east African country of Uganda. "The fears surrounding the victim, the act of wearing the condom in anticipation of being assaulted all represent enslavement that no woman should be subjected to."
Kajja said the device constantly reminds women of their vulnerability.
"It not only presents the victim with a false sense of security, but psychological trauma," she added. "It also does not help with the psychological problems that manifest after assaults."
However, its one advantage is it allows justice to be served, she said.
Various rights organizations that work in South Africa declined to comment, including Human Rights Watch and Care International.
South Africa has one of the highest rape rates in the world, Human Rights Watch says on its website. A 2009 report by the nation's Medical Research Council found that 28 percent of men surveyed had raped a woman or girl, with one in 20 saying they had raped in the past year, according to Human Rights Watch.
In most African countries, rape convictions are not common. Affected women don't get immediate access to medical care, and DNA tests to provide evidence are unaffordable.
"Women and girls who experience these violations are denied justice, factors that contribute to the normalization of rape and violence in South African society," Human Rights Watch says.
Women take drastic measures to prevent rape in South Africa, Ehlers said, with some wearing extra tight biker shorts and others inserting razor blades in their private parts.
Critics have accused her of developing a medieval device to fight rape.
"Yes, my device may be a medieval, but it's for a medieval deed that has been around for decades," she said. "I believe something's got to be done ... and this will make some men rethink before they assault a woman."
... Critics say the female condom is not a long-term solution and makes women vulnerable to more violence from men trapped by the device. ...
It certainly is an interesting idea, but my feelings are much like the quoted part above. The enraged attacker may even kill /maim his victim.
I would be more in favour of making it legal (it's not in Canada) to carry some kind of spray or stun device.
I'm not so sure it would work. The threat of possibly contracting AIDS from their victims hasn't stopped rapists. Most don't rape for the sexual act, they rape for the feeling of power.
I've heard that it is all about power and not sex many times. I disagree, though obviously there is always an element of power.
Interesting solution to a horrible problem. Not sure what I think yet. I do see it as potentially dangerous for the rapee. It's almost hard to believe, like a movie story.
Except that rapists don't always use their penis. Inanimate objects are often used to rape victims. And they don't have to to in that way. Sodomy works just as well.
I think the idea is good but the execution is flawed. It won't work.
The device causes extreme pain to the attacker. The condom isn't for STD prevention, it's for pain infliction.
I would stop the rape from continuing for sure. If the guy has to get off the woman to take care of himself, that may give the women time to attack or run away.
I'd read about this device before.
I can't imagine putting it inside me, I'd be afraid I'd hurt meself, but more so, there's this mental image of having teeth down there.
plus, how does the woman remove the device herself?
If the woman can take it out, why wouldn't the rapist?
Yes...I first read about it back in 2006 in a British newspaper. Here's a pic:
After looking at the site, I have to say that this is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. I took her 4 decades to come up with this? What, are you suppose to wear it every day? It's huge an looks rather uncomfortable.
Would it stop a rape in progress, sure. But not all rapes are vaginal. So will this deter rapists? No way. It will just give them reason to find other means of violating their victim.
And for having to surgically remove it? I doubt it. I am sure that it could be cut off and removed by the guy unless he's really really stupid.
AND if some guy stuck his dick in there and pulled this out, don't you think that he'd be in such a fury he might really physically injure or even kill her? And if he did kill her, why would he go to the hospital to have that device removed? Honestly, I don't think it would be that difficult to remove. I mean, she says it doesn't even break the skin so why could he not just cut it off?
Do you mind posting the link?
Many of the rapes in Africa of young women are because of a superstitious rumor that has spread that if they have sex with a virgin it will cure them of their AIDS.
After the first few instances of successful prevention, all this device will do is cause the men to first jam their fingers into the vagina of their victim to check for the device before entering them with their penis to cure themselves of AIDS.
Oh, do you like it. I got it from some web site, a2k, I think.
It a joke as first of all a woman would need to wear it 24/7 as when someone is going to be rape is not very predictable just to start with.
The cost and other factors would mean that such a device would never stop one rape.
Hell it been around since 2005 that I know of and I had not hear of this silly device stopping one rape.
If it did become common somehow rapists would just do a one second check for it present in any case.
It so silly I am almost sure it is a hoax and nothing else.
This woman "consulted engineers" and spent years on research and development...to basically come up with a barbed chinese finger trap. If that's the best way to stop rape, well, things aren't looking too bright.