A South African woman working as a blood technician with the South African Blood Transfusion Service, during which time she met and treated many rape victims. The device, known as The Rape-aXe, is a latex sheath embedded with shafts of sharp, inward-facing microscopic barbs that would be worn by a woman in her vagina like a tampon.
If an attacker were to attempt vaginal rape, their penis would enter the latex sheath and be snagged by the barbs, causing the attacker pain during withdrawal and (ideally) giving the victim time to escape.
The condom would remain attached to the attacker’s body when he withdrew and could only be removed surgically, which would alert hospital staff and police. This device could assist in the identification and prosecution of rapist.
South African inventor Sonette Ehlers demonstrates her new anti-rape female condom in Cape Town. The device, concealed inside a woman’s body, hooks onto a rapist during penetration and must be surgically removed. Ms Ehlers said the rape trap would be so painful for a rapist that it would disable him immediately, enabling his victim to escape; but would cause no long-term physical damage and could not injure the woman.
The United Nations says South Africa has the world’s highest per capita rate of reported rapes – 119 per 100,000 people. Analysts say the total, including unreported rapes, could be nine times higher. A majority of women surveyed said they were willing to use the device, which will go into production next year and sell for one rand (20 cents).