Rape is a serious problem, both in the United States as well as around the world. In South Africa, occasionally referred to as the rape capital of the world, some statistics claim there is a rape every 17 seconds. Faced with bleak numbers like that, and working with rape survivors, Sonnet Ehlers despaired over the grim reality. The words of one rape survivor sparked an idea, though, and that idea has led to the creation of one of the more fearful weapons in the war against rape.
The survivor’s words were, “If only I had teeth down there.” This led to the creation of the Rape-aXe.
The Rape-aXe is a simple, effective solution that stops rape in its tracks. It’s a condom-like device that fits inside a woman’s vagina, and it has barbs that will latch into a man’s penis if he penetrates her. The barbs don’t draw blood (since sexually transmitted diseases are a real concern in rape cases), but they do bite down uncomfortably and hold tight once they’re in. An attempted rapist has his penis caught in a trap, and it’s one that can’t be removed except surgically. It prevents the perpetrator from urinating, and it marks them out for police questioning.
Will It Work?
The Rape-aXe might seem like an extreme solution, but it is one that has appeal for victims, and for those who are afraid of being victims. While some critics have said that it’s a “first-world solution” which won’t help victims of rape used as a systematic weapon of war in many third-world nations, no one has claimed that the item doesn’t have actual, preventative value. Ehlers feels that rape is already a violent, dangerous situation, and that the Rape-aXe is not a weapon that should be discarded in this fight. Because it will create uncertainty, rapists will think twice before committing a crime, and they’ll be more likely to get caught afterward.
Why Is This Necessary?
The existence of the Rape-aXe is a terrible thing. It shows that rape is such a worldwide phenomenon that someone felt this device should be created. Those who heard about it embraced it as a way to empower themselves against a crime they live in constant fear of. Even detractors aren’t saying there’s no need for the device, but rather that it may be a dangerous escalation in some cases.
Rape will probably never go away, and the only way to fight the epidemic is to make major, cultural shifts away from using it as a source of power, or as something victims should be ashamed of. However, until such massive paradigm shifts occur, it’s good to know the Rape-aXe exists.