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Old 09-01-2005, 07:07 PM   #1
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NO ONE TO WARN!!! ------->"If only I had teeth down there."

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A New Strategy to Fight Rapists

A South African inventor's device snares the attacker with hooks. Some activists call it regressive and say it will result in more killings.

By Robyn Dixon
Times Staff Writer

September 1, 2005

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — 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 the nation's alarming rape rate.

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.

Some women's activists call the device regressive, putting the onus on individual women to address a societal, male problem. Even Charlene Smith, an outspoken journalist and anti-rape campaigner, said the device "goes back to the concept of chastity belts" and predicted it would incite injured rapists to kill their victims.

"You will get a higher rate of women being killed," Smith said. "We don't need these nut-case devices by people hoping to make a lot of money out of other women's fear."

But Ehlers contends that South Africa's rape problem is so severe that women cannot just wait for male attitudes to improve with education. She said her company had received many inquiries from around the world in recent months. Though the device was officially unveiled to the public Wednesday in South Africa's Western Cape, it won't be available to consumers until next year at the earliest.

"I don't hate men. I love men. I have not got revenge in mind. All I am doing is giving women their power back," Ehlers said in an interview. "I don't even hate rapists. But I hate the deed with a passion."

Ehlers foresees women inserting the device as a vital part of a daily security routine that has come to include switching on the electric fence around the family home and activating the house alarm each night.

South Africa has the highest per capita rate of reported rapes in the world — 119 per 100,000 people, according to the United Naitons. The rate in the United States is 30 per 100,000. Analysts and women's advocacy groups argue that if South Africa's total included unreported rapes it could be five to nine times higher.

Ehlers sees her invention as particularly valuable for low income black women, whom she says are more vulnerable to rape than middle-income South Africans because they often walk long distances through unsafe areas going to and from work.

The single-use disposable device would sell for about 15 cents and Ehlers plans to market it in packets of 10 at major supermarkets.

She said a majority of the 2,000 South African women her firm had surveyed said they were willing to use the device.

Ehlers said she was inspired to design the device after meeting a young rape victim in a hospital in 1969, who told her, "If only I had teeth down there."

Ehlers said she kept the memory, struggling to overcome engineering problems to develop the device, which is soft "like a jelly baby," a British candy.

Ehlers says production will probably begin in Asia because of lower manufacturing costs.
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:41 PM   #2
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That hurts just thinking about it.
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:45 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good idea, but I agree with Charlene Smith, about that it could only make the rapist kill the victim. Also, if its a gang rape, the initial rapist maybe disabled but the other men wouldn't be.
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:50 PM   #4
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If I have to some serious time

I will bring a little surprise
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:50 PM   #5
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I feel for the poor guy whose wife comes home and forgets to take this friendly little device out while they're having a roll in the sheets.

Ouch, ow, I'm crawling into the fetal position and sucking my thumb just thinking about this.

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Old 09-01-2005, 07:51 PM   #6
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from now on she gets the remote
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:05 PM   #7
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She insisted it would cause no long-term physical damage to the assailant
Damn.
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Old 09-02-2005, 05:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
I feel for the poor guy whose wife comes home and forgets to take this friendly little device out while they're having a roll in the sheets.

This is about rape, it isn't about "a roll in the sheets". This really isn't a subject to joke about.

As for the topic, well rape is so evil that I'm surprised something like this has never been invented before. I don't know how good of an idea it is, but I certainly understand the motivation behind it.
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:18 AM   #9
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I'm OK with this. It's their bodies; they can put whatever they want wherever they want it. I wouldn't do it, but I don't live in fear of being raped.
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:30 AM   #10
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I'm still not quite sure how to feel about this.

On one hand, I'm all for them defending themselves, yet on the other, a device like this could ultimately lead to worse violence.
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Old 09-02-2005, 11:19 AM   #11
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On a completely serious note,

I believe these women mentioned in the article, that can not walk down the street without fear of assault, should have this available.
And I have less than no sympathy for any person? injured after attacking a woman.
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Old 09-02-2005, 11:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC
That hurts just thinking about it.
Just thinking about rape also hurts.
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Old 09-02-2005, 11:57 AM   #13
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this reminds me of that line in the vagina monologues, in response to the question if your vagina could get dressed, what would it wear: an electrical shock device to keep unwanted strangers away.

if only it were that simple.

i can appreciate the idea behind this, but i'm not sure it's the best answer. rape is an act of domination and humiliation, and it is practically a guarantee that the backlash would be murdurous.

we do need radical ideas about how to stop rape, and it's good that someone is trying to come up with something, even if it's in the form of this rather primitive device. but we need to get to the root of the problem, instead of attempting to deter violence with violence. genuine progress will have to address why men rape, and why society is infuriatingly lenient about the fact that men continue to rape women every single day.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by dandy
this reminds me of that line in the vagina monologues, in response to the question if your vagina could get dressed, what would it wear: an electrical shock device to keep unwanted strangers away.

if only it were that simple.

i can appreciate the idea behind this, but i'm not sure it's the best answer. rape is an act of domination and humiliation, and it is practically a guarantee that the backlash would be murdurous.

we do need radical ideas about how to stop rape, and it's good that someone is trying to come up with something, even if it's in the form of this rather primitive device. but we need to get to the root of the problem, instead of attempting to deter violence with violence. genuine progress will have to address why men rape, and why society is infuriatingly lenient about the fact that men continue to rape women every single day.


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