S. African RAPE JAWS, Biting Back *LINK*

S. African RAPE JAWS, Biting Back *LINK*
Posted By: 
Nancy Lieder
Thursday, June 09, 2005 10:58 am


[Women in this country are desperate. Rape is reaching epidemic
proportions. Gang rape is also occuring often. Child and baby rape is not
even something that causes us to raise our eyebrows any more.

Some time back, I noticed some African Americans on a forum discussing
Baby rape in South Africa. I saw an African American woman posting a
question: \"But how does a grown man get his wee wee into a small baby?\" I
didn\'t belong to the forum, but I can answer that: He tears into the
baby\'s innards, and the baby normally dies from internal damage and
bleeding afterwards. Some lucky babies survive if the surgeons are good
enough - but even then, the babies will never be normal.

The aim is to sell these tampons in bulk for R1 (about 20 US Cents) each.

But knowing how violent our rapists are, I wonder if they won\'t end up
strangling the women to death or something? I wonder how it will work in
practise. We\'ll have to see - maybe some men will have their family
jewels damaged and will then kill the woman afterwards? We\'ll have to
wait and see. Jan]

A rape victim once wished for teeth \"where it mattered\". Now a device has
been designed to \"bite\" a rapist\'s penis. The patented device looks and
is worn like a tampon, but it is hollow and attaches itself with tiny
hooks to a man\'s penis during penetration.

\"We have to do something to protect ourselves. While this will not
prevent rape it will assist in identifying attackers and securing
convictions,\" claims Sonette Ehlers, inventor of the device.

Not everyone, however, is convinced of its usefulness.

Lisa Vetten, of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
(CSVR) says: \"It is like we are going back to the days where women were
forced to wear chastity belts. It is a terrifying thought that women are
being made to adapt to rape by wearing these devices.

\'It is a terrifying thought that women are being made to adapt to rape\'
\"We should rather focus our energy on changing men\'s mindsets and
behaviour towards women.\"

Ehlers, of Kleinmond, who has worked for the South African Institute for
Medical Research, said she had been seeking a way to help women since
meeting a rape survivor 20 years ago who commented that she wished she
had teeth in her vagina.

\"Over the past three years I have been working on this device. It is now
completely safe and ready to be manufactured and distributed,\" she said.

It had been designed with engineers, gynaecologists, psychologists and
urologists. It was \"hygienic - no human hands will be involved in the

In the event of rape, the device folds itself around the rapist\'s penis,
attaching to the skin with microscopic hooks. It is only when the rapist
withdraws that he will realise the device is clamped around his penis.

\'He will have to be put under anaesthetic to have it removed\'
\"Its design will also go a long way towards lowering HIV infection as
semen is contained in the device ... as well as preventing sexually
transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies,\" Ehlers says.

As it is impossible to remove the device from a penis without medical
help, hospitals and clinics will be able to alert police when assistance
is sought.

\"This will rule out any possibility of the rapist\'s escaping arrest and
speed up conviction.\"

If the rapist tries to remove the device, it will only embed itself

\"He will have to be put under anaesthetic to have it removed. He will not
be able to leave it as he will be unable to urinate.\"

A woman would have to wear the device every day.

\"We never know when we might be raped. This device should become a part
of every woman\'s daily routine, just like brushing her teeth.\"

Last year, there were 52 733 reported rapes. In a study, the Gender-Based
Violence Programme at the CSVR analysed 162 rapes in Johannesburg\'s inner
city and found that one in four had been a gang rape. The study found
that 56 percent of the victims had been raped by two men and 23 percent
by three.

Although Ehlers is optimistic that the device will go a long way towards
reducing the high incidence of rape in this country, rape organisations
are not so sure.

\"Women would have to wear this every minute of their lives on the
off-chance that they would be raped,\" Vetten says.

\"I am concerned at how normal rape has become that we would even consider
a device like this.\"

Chanaz Mitchell, spokesperson for the National Network on Violence
against Women, says although it is a good idea for women to protect
themselves, men should take responsibility for their actions.

\"We still need to focus on men as perpetrators of this heinous crime.\"

Mitchell is also concerned that the device might lead to further violence
against victims.

\"Once the rapist realises this device is attached to him, he is more than
likely to take his anger out on his victim.\"

Mbuyiselo Botha, spokesperson for the Men\'s Forum, said anything that
could empower women should be welcomed.

\"I would encourage my wife and two daughters to wear this device. It
would send a signal to would-be rapists that they won\'t have it easy.\"

Ehlers intends launching the prototype next month.

\"It will be available at supermarkets, chemists, anywhere where one would
be able to buy tampons,\" she says.

The device is to cost R1 and also be available in bulk packs.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Cape Times on June 07,

Source: Independent Online (IOL)