The ears have walls

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Anti-rape condom for South Africa - is it viable?

A prototype 'anti-rape' condom has been developed by a female South African inventor. South Africa experiences one of the highest per capita instances of sexual assault in the world and it was probably only a matter of time before a drastic measure like this surfaced.

"Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time," Sonette Ehlers, 57, said of the "rapex," a device worn like a tampon that has sparked controversy in a country used to daily reports of violent crime. [...]Ehlers said the "rapex" hooks onto the rapist's skin, allowing the victim time to escape and helping to identify perpetrators. "He will obviously be too pre-occupied at this stage," she told reporters in leinmond, a small holiday village about 100km (60 miles) east of Cape Town. "I promise you he is going to be too sore. He will go straight to hospital."

Read the full text here.

I'm from Johannesburg, and although in some cases this anti-rape condom will be a good thing, both as a physical deterrant and as a means to secure time for the victim to escape, it fatally assumes that the woman in question will be attacked by a lone assailant. Gang rape is a very common form of sexual assault in and around the poorer settlements of South Africa and I can imagine a situation where a group of men would murder the woman in question as soon as they saw their fellow attacker's penis getting caught in this device. It could potentially serve to inflame an already volatile situation


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