But the Rape-aXe has also received fierce criticism.
Women rights’ activists said the device doesn’t actually prevent an attack and warned it can even provoke a more violent reaction from the attacker.
Others warned that some women might use it against innocent men.
“Women would have to wear this every minute of their lives on the off-chance that they would be raped,” said Lisa Vetten, from the South African Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.
A South African doctor has launched a new female condom aimed at preventing rapes — and she plans to give away 30,000 for free before the start of the World Cup.
The female condom, Rape-aXe, is covered by tiny hooks which, in case of rape, attach themselves to the attacker’s penis. According to its creator, the only way to remove the condom is in a hospital — where the man would be identified as a criminal.
Unlike previous prototypes, it would not cut the attacker’s skin, reducing the risk of HIV infection.
Its inventor, Dr. Sonnet Ehlers, said she was inspired by a rape victim who told her, “If only I had teeth down there.”
Dr. Ehlers says the device is vital to help women in a country with one of the highest rates of rape in the world. A survey by South Africa’s Medical Council found that 1 in 4 women in the country say they have been raped.
Responding to criticism, the inventor said: “Regrettably, you are always at risk being killed by your assailant, Rape-aXe will buy you time to get away.”