Condom with teeth designed to cut down on sexual violence

An African woman sitting on the ground with her head rested on her arms, hiding her face.

Women in South Africa are highly at risk of sexual assault.

Dr. Sonnet Ehlers created Rape-aXe, a female condom with jagged teeth, in an effort to cut down on sexual offenders in South Africa, a country with one of the worst rape rates in the world. Ehlers, who is sick and tired of seeing numbers of rape victims pouring in, has decided to give away thousands of the “condom with teeth” devices in cities close to where the World Cup games are taking place.

Sexual violence in South Africa

CIET Africa, a non-governmental organization, conducted a survey 10 years ago that revealed the shocking truth about rape crimes in South Africa. About 4,000 women were questioned in the survey, and one in every three admitted she’d been a victim of rape over the previous year. More than 50,000 cases are reported to authorities every year, according to BBC News. However, that figure is only a taste of the actual number of assaults against women in South Africa.

The latex condom with teeth

The latex condom with teeth is inserted by women just like tampons, reports CNN. Inside the device are lined rows of jagged teeth-like hooks that latch on to a man’s penis during penetration. According to Dr. Ehlers, only a doctor can remove it once the device is tightly hooked on. She is hoping it will help reduce the number of sex crimes in the nation.

“It hurts, he cannot pee and walk when it’s on,” Ehlers 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.”

Rape-axing sexual violence

Dr. Sonnet Ehlers plans to distribute 30,000 of the female condoms with teeth, Rape-aXe, completely free of charge. The latex device will sell for $2 apiece once the trial period is over. Ehlers said she visited several penitentiaries to speak with convicted rapists to find out whether such a device would have made them rethink their actions. Several of them said it definitely would have.

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