Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yikes! Forget Chastity Belts...

From Rapex: the internal anti-rape device | Features | The First Post :

The words of a rape victim - "If only I had teeth down there" - have inspired the design of a new anti-rape device.

Rapex - dubbed the 'rape trap' - is a product worn internally by women. The hollow inside is lined with rows of razor-sharp hooks, which are designed to latch on to a rapist's penis during penetration. They can only be removed by a doctor.

The product will be on the shelves of South African chemists and supermarkets later this month. South African mother-of-two Sonette Ehlers developed the original prototype in 2005 but has struggled to get it patented and approved for sale, not least because of staunch opposition from feminist groups.

I'm not sure if I'm scared, appalled, amused or intrigued by this thing. Mostly amused, I think.  The thought of the consequence to a guy who sticks his junk where it shouldn't be is oddly apropos. How exactly does he explain that? "Uhh, doc, can you get this plastic cage off my johnson?"

One of the fears some have about it's use is that the guy who gets "trapped" will only get more violent. No way. We're talking hard plastic barbs digging into his willy. Pain there will pretty much stop a guy dead in his tracks. Certainly long enough to let the potential victim run for safety.

But there is a sad element to this - the reason it was created. The device was created to help the 1.7 million South African women who are raped each year and live in fear. Some may say it is more vengeful than preventative, and there's some truth to that. Until they are so prevalently used that rapists fear injury, they won't work as a deterrent. So at best, it will stop the act from going too far. In some cases, this will minimize physical injury to the victim, but not the emotional scars.

So, while the device does get me to chuckle, it also reminds me that there are still places where women aren't safe, and that saddens me. There are organizations working to end this abuse. Check out SADF, and donate if you can. They work to improve conditions for people in South Africa. You can even choose a specific grantee, such as the Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Programme (GRIP).

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