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Rape-aXe prototypes made, but anti-rape condom not yet for sale

A Facebook post from 10 September 2020 tells readers about the Rapex anti-rape condom, which is available at pharamcies and supermarkets. 

“You insert this condom in your vagina whenever you go out , and when a man come and rapes you , the condom will be stuck on his penis and the only way he can get it out is by going to the clinic,” the post reads.

“Only nurses can get it out of his penis , and that's when nurses will know that he raped someone and the police will immediately be called.”

The post goes on to say that the anti-rape condom can be bought at pharmacies and Shoprite supermarkets

“Let's get these condoms girls for our own sake,” it ends

The post has been viewed more than 15,000 times so far. It has also been reposted on Twitter and retweeted more than 3,000 times. 

Is there an anti-rape condom called Rapex available for purchase at pharmacies and Shoprite stores? We checked. 

Shoprite not selling product

Africa Check contacted the Shoprite customer care line who said the product was not sold at any of their outlets. 

A Google search reveals that a prototype for the Rapex condom was released in 2005. The condom, invented by retired blood technician Sonia Ehlers, had spikes attached to it designed to inflict injury on a would-be rapist’s penis and end the assault. The condom was designed to be worn by women who felt they were in danger of being assaulted. 

It was reportedly criticised by the non-profit Rape Crisis Cape Town who said it would increase a woman’s vulnerability to violence and murder.

The condom made headlines in 2010 after Ehlers discussed plans to distribute it, now named Rape-aXe, to vulnerable women ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. We were unable to find evidence that the condoms were actually distributed. 

Ehlers went on record again in 2014 to say that plans to make the condom available had been held up by the patent application process.

Rape-aXe still being tested

The Rape-aXe website makes it clear that the condom is not yet available for sale.

“We have conducted multiple rounds of development with prototype tooling and we have created functioning samples for customer evaluation and testing. Now, improvements need to be implement before Rape-aXe can be made available to the general public,” the website says.

The condom’s developers have created a GoFundMe page to raise the money needed to complete development and testing. 

An anti-rape condom has been created. But it is still in the development stage and not currently available at pharmacies and supermarkets. – Naledi Mashishi


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