Rape-aXe: Anti-Rape Condom Helps Women Fight Back

According to police reports, 50,000 rapes are reported each year in South Africa. That's just reported. A study from 2006 found that a woman is raped every 17 seconds. Dr. Sonnet Ehlers had seen enough after working with her patients, and she created Rape-aXe, a condom that shreds a rapist's penis. Her mantra? "If men can use their body as a weapon of attack, well then it's time for women to do the same."

Anti-Rape Condoms Fight BackAnti-Rape Condoms Fight Back

Ehlers revealed Rape-aXe in 2005, but an image of the invention resurfaced on Facebook recently, and social media is buzzing. Everyone is once again intrigued by a condom with teeth. A woman would insert Rape-aXe like a tampon, and inside the device are small and sharp barbs. Much like road spikes, you can go in but not out.  If a man tries to rape a woman, he will rip up his penis , and the barbs will embed into him. He will then have to have Rape-aXe surgically removed at a hospital, alerting staff and leading to his arrest.

There's been a lot of positive feedback to this innovation, but there's been a lot of criticism, as well. First, some argue that the device doesn't prevent rape, and they are right. It doesn't. Out of 20,000 rapes, only 8% lead to a conviction in South Africa. Rape-aXe could help raise that percentage. Ehlers wanted to create a device that held rapists accountable. It would be pretty difficult to claim innocence when the proof is still attached to your genitals. Ehlers also wanted to give women a chance to escape. Murder often accompanies rape, and if a woman's attacker is writhing in pain, she has a chance to run away. Rape-aXe is straight defense. 

Barbs Inside: The Rape-aXe CondomBarbs Inside: The Rape-aXe Condom

Others claim that, much like the rape-preventing nail polish, Rape-aXe places blame on victims. It isn't the responsibility of a woman not to get raped. Perhaps supporters of this theory should use this argument with their rapist the next time they are sexually assaulted (which I hope never happens). This product was meant for women in South Africa because rape is so prevalent there. Defensive action could be the last chance women have for safety.

Rape-aXe is not on the market yet, and it may never be. Ehlers planned on handing out these condoms at the World Cup in 2007, but there's still no proof that these condoms will be sold at stores or online. Hopefully one day women in South Africa will be able to buy Rape-aXe. No, it isn't perfect, but Rape-aXe has a real chance of raising conviction rates and dropping rape rates. 

I know I normally write about beauty and fashion products. You may not have been expecting something so heavy from a beauty blog, but a safe woman is a beautiful woman. Peace of mind is one of the lovleiest features a woman can possess, and it seems Rape-aXe offers that.  It's horrific that rape exists, that this is a problem women in South Africa face every day, but it won't go away overnight. Until it does, these condoms can help women fight back. Women can take back some of the power; they can survive. That's the beauty of Rape-aXe. 

If you have any comments about this, I'd love to hear what you think. If you're interested in helping this cause, you can donate here.

Check out my other beauty and fashion blog posts, too.

Sources: Snopes, Rape-aXe, Banderas News, Jezebel