Yesha Callahan

If You Attempt To Rape A Woman In South Africa, You May Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Here are a few  statistics about rape in South Africa:

One in three of the 4,000 women questioned by the Community of Information, Empowerment and Transparency said they had been raped in the past year.[9] More than 25 per cent of South African men questioned in a survey published by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in June 2009 admitted to raping someone; of those, nearly half said they had raped more than one person.

33% of South African women are raped.

25% of South African men admit to being rapists.

To combat the issue of rape in South Africa, Dr. Sonnet Ehlers invented the Rape-Ex condom for women. The woman would insert the condom and if by chance a man has vaginal sex with her, the condom would clamp down on the man’s penis without breaking any skin. The device will not allow a man to urinate or walk while it’s on, any type of forced removal would cause more pain, also it can only be removed by a doctor.  The device is currently being sold for $2, but Dr. Ehlers planned (plans) on distributing them during the World Cup for free.

When I first read about this earlier today, I thought that it was a pretty interesting idea. But upon second thought, I’m not sure if this is a cure to the rape epidemic in South Africa. Would this cause even more aggression towards the woman, and possibly have the rapist inflict more harm on the victim, once he feels the “teeth” attaching to his penis?

It definitely puts new meaning to “Take A Bite Out Of Crime”.

What are your opinions on the device?

  1. June 21, 2010 - Reply

    This is a fantastic idea. It seems like medical innovation that used solely for women is rather rare.

    • June 21, 2010 - Reply


      The idea is a good one…but the repercussions that could be inflicted upon the victim still seem vicious/if not deadly in some cases.

  2. June 21, 2010 - Reply

    This is a wonderful idea!! I say issue them to all that wants/needs them. On another note…*looks left, looks right* With the number of sexual assaults happening among deploying/deployed troops, these should be issued to all females in the military. The numbers are STAGGERING to the point of Uncle leRoy creating positions for Sexual Assault Victim Advocates in the units. Just know that the females have these in their possession should decrease the number of assaults.

    • June 21, 2010 - Reply


      Yes! I definitely know about those statistics! Imagine the ones that go unreported!?!

  3. June 21, 2010 - Reply

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  4. June 21, 2010 - Reply

    ok I have heard it all today. I’m trying to figure out if a woman is being raped if the person going to allow time for her to insert this?

    • June 21, 2010 - Reply


      rape is so prevalent in S.A., that it’s assumed the woman would wear this as a precaution…even before the rape would a tampon.

  5. June 21, 2010 - Reply

    I said on twitter earlier that i want to be happy about this… but i’m afraid this will turn rapist into murderers. especially since, rape is a crime of violence not sex.
    having this permanently attached will escalate the situation, causing one already committing a violent act to most likely commit more violence. especially if he doesn’t read blogs or the news and has no idea what it is.
    Imagine a rapist screaming at his victim, asking what it is & demanding she get it off. Then in all her trauma she’ll have to explain it can only be removed by a doctor. I mean really. regular female condoms have been around for decades and i’d wager most men are completely ignorant of them. does it come w/ a handout to be given to the rapist? “stay calm: what to do now that your penis has teeth in it” O_o
    I do love the idea of giving this to women in the military & those working overseas for defense contractors.

    • June 21, 2010 - Reply


      the sad thing about it is, rape isn’t an easy conviction in SA, but murder is…which is why it goes so unreported and most never make it to trial..

  6. June 21, 2010 - Reply

    Well, I’ve heard that rape is a crime of power. I would suppose (no evidence) that a lot of men rape because they can – not necesarily because of some pent-up rage. I guess that if 25% of men will ADMIT that they’ve raped, it’s a social norm for them. So the condom changes all of that, because now there is a consequence. I don’t disagree that there may be some repercussions for the woman, but in theory, there could be repercussions if she screamed, or fought back, etc. I think it would help more women than it would hurt.

  7. June 22, 2010 - Reply

    I don’t think the issue is whether we agree or disagree with the use of the device. The issue is why this device has come a reality. The idea that women have to take such drastic measures to ward off rape is contingent upon the world’s tolerance of rape culture.
    When you have one in four men admitting to raping a woman at least once, rape is clearly being tolerated in some fashion that’s detrimental to women.

    • June 24, 2010 - Reply

      @The New Black Woman

      It’s definitely being tolerated in SA, there are very few rape convictions in that area, hence the Dr. making the device.

  8. June 22, 2010 - Reply

    When I first heard about this I almost dismissed it as unrealistic, because like another reader asked “when would the woman insert it”. But after reading your post and your inquiry about it just further angering the rapist…..I’m wondering if we’ll see an increase in anal rapes as a way to circumvent being “bitten”.

    • June 24, 2010 - Reply

      @Diva (in Demand)

      another good thought brought up, b/c i think they’re assuming most rapes are vaginal…

  9. June 22, 2010 - Reply

    Seems like a bad idea to me. Any anti-rape device should be able to make it impossible for the rapist to hurt the victim any further. Unless this condom can create so much pain for the rapist that he becomes unable to move, then it will only make things worse, in my opinion. He can get pissed and twist your neck or disfigure you or whatever.

    • June 24, 2010 - Reply


      yes, unfortunately it’s not going to immobilize the rapist…maybe someone needs to event one that’ll emit an electrical shock..imagine that.

  10. June 24, 2010 - Reply

    My initial thoughts is it may cause more violent behaivor toward the woman out of spite. Also a male perp can remove the device. I think this could be a band aide but a more permanent solution would be tougher consequences and more resources for women to tap into related to reporting and receiving justice for rape or any crime committed against them.

    • June 24, 2010 - Reply


      They would have to know the device is in place first, I doubt many perps would go “fishing” for it, and once it’s on them, they can’t remove it at all. But I do agree with the possibilty of this device leading to more violence.

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