A medieval device built on hatred of men? Or a cheap, easy-to-use invention that could free millions of South African women from fear of rape, in a country with the worst sexual assault record on Earth? Dubbed the “rape trap,” trademarked Rapex, the condom-like device bristling with internal hooks designed to snare rapists has reignited controversy over South Africa’s alarming rape rate, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Some say the inventor, Sonette Ehlers, deserves a medal; others, that she needs help. The device, which is worn inside a woman’s body, hooks onto a rapist during penetration. It must be surgically removed. Ehlers, a former medical technician, said the rape trap would be so painful for a rapist that it would disable him immediately, enabling his victim to escape. She insisted it would cause no long-term physical damage to the assailant, and could not accidentally injure the woman. Ehlers said her company had received many inquiries from around the world in recent months. Though the device was officially unveiled to the public Wednesday, it won’t be available to consumers until next year at the earliest.