…It Delivers Instant Justice To The Offender
RAPE is increasingly developing into an untamed beast the world over with cases of rape continuously being reported daily.
By Michael Gwarisa
According to global rape statistics, a woman is raped after every 98 seconds in the United States of America while South Africa also has a high rape prevalence rate. Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent.
To rid the world of this cancer called rape, one South African women, Sonnet Ehlers Bryant has developed a gadget which could render instant justice to the rapist, making it easy for law enforcers to catch the offenders. The gadget which is inserted inside the woman’s vagina whenever she feels she might be at risk of being raped, instantly develops razor sharp like teeth which clutches on to the rapist’ manhood and can only be removed by specialised surgery.
In an interview with HealthTimes Editor, Michael Gwarisa (MG) Rape-X director, Vince Leskowich (VL) said the gadget could be the answer to the increasing rape crisis as it ensures the rapists is easily identified since he cannot remove the gadget once it is stuck to the manhood. To remove it, one could require special surgery since forcibly removing it will without doubt hurt and damage the penis permanently.
M.G: How do you see this gadget revolutionizing the fight against rape and how do you see it reducing rape cases?
L.V: Rapists know that the odds of being caught are very low. In interviews that Sonnet conducted with convicted rapists in prisons in South Africa, she was told by them, “Rape is difficult to prove….. the police don’t treat this as a serious crime…. and it is likely I will not be caught or convicted at all….and if I do the punishment for rape is “light”.
“With RX I know I have been caught and it will be treated like a serious crime, the conviction rate is higher and prison penalty is much more serious…”
True Story. Sonnet took some of the devices I made out to a township in South Africa that was notorious for its high incidence of rape, ( is there any that are not?) and did a presentation on RX to the local community. The police in the township reported back to Sonnet that AFTER her presentation there were NO reported rapes for 3 WEEKS!!! The reason was the local men were terrified she had left RX samples behind for the women to use…. so in reply to your question, YES, RX can help PREVENT the incidence of rape. The FEAR of RX is a big motivator ( de-motivator?) for the rapist. Without RX, there was no repercussion for the rapist. He felt in control, powerful, unlikely to be caught or incarcerated. Knowing that RX MIGHT have been in use changed ALL that…. Once it is launched, there will always be the question ….is she or isn’t she wearing RX? We are betting most rapist will not want to play “Russian Roulette” with their penis to find out.
During interviews with convicted rapists in USA, prisoners admitted “ the best thing you can do to prevent rape is RESIST, kick, scream, punch, scratch….anything…” RX is another tool to help with this approach. Based on results of interviews FBI conducted with rape victims, 9/10 victims feel they faired better by resisting/fighting back than submitting. RX is an improvement over a rape whistle, or other weapons for self-defense, as it is always “ready”. To be effective, it does not require special training or physical strength, like self-defense classes. It cannot be taken away from the woman and used against her like pepper spray, a knife , gun or as other weapons can be.
MG: What material is the object made of and won’t it have some health effects considering it is inserted inside a woman’s privates?
LV: The outer sheath is made from the same type of a hypo-allergic (non allergic) material that is used in medical devices and menstrual cups. It is safe and approved to be in contact with the vaginal cavity for extended periods of time. The RX is made from a NON ABSORBENT biocompatible material. Body fluids will not collect on the RX. They will pass though and out of the woman’s body, as normal. Menstrual cups are made from similar materials and stay in the vaginal cavity for days without complications of infection.
MG: In terms of safety, how reliable is it and wont it develop mechanical faults and hurt the user in the process?
LV: Comfort for the woman was a primary concern in the design of RX. The outside is smooth and cushioned. Once the Rape-axe is in place in the vagina, it is not uncomfortable for the wearer. It has been described as feeling “no different than when I use a tampon”.
We have conducted tests in the laboratory and with live volunteers to ensure the safety, comfort and effectiveness of Rape-aXe.
The barbs are fully enclosed inside the durable sheath and cannot pose any risk to the woman.
MG: Has Rape-X been launched as yet and did you face any hurdles getting it approved by your government?
LV: No, unfortunately, it is not available for sale yet. As I mentioned earlier, we have successfully made samples for testing and to prove the concept works. Now we are currently trying to raise money to set up our manufacturing and distribution, so we can start to produce product for sale.
We need your help to do this. Please donate generously at www.gofundme.com/rape-axe. The sooner we get our production set up, the sooner we can make RX available to women who need it.
We are currently undergoing the registration process in South Africa. As there is currently NOTHING like Rape-aXe on the market, ( it is NOT the same as a male or female condom) it makes it difficult to make a comparison to an existing device.
We have gotten very good support and response from the local law enforcement at the township levels where Sonnet has conducted presentations, but it has been difficult to get the attention of the National government to recognize the urgent need for Rape-aXe.
MG: How soon do you think the gadget will hit foreign markets and where else has it been tried?
LV: While the incidence of rape is extremely high in South Africa, it is not an exception. Somewhere in the United States of America a woman is raped every 98 seconds. The United Nations recognizes that sexual violence is a severely underreported crime and that similar statistics can be found globally.
Sadly, we can agree with the UN’s findings as we have received requests for RX from virtually every country on the planet.
After SA, we have plans to launch in other African countries, USA, India, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific. The timing will depend on the regional support we can get for product registration, and establishing training for the users, the medical personnel on how to remove RX and law enforcement on how to use RX for evidence.
MG: Could you tell us a bit about Rape-X, the inspiration behind it and also give a brief background of your organisation?
LV: Sonnet Ehlers/Bryant worked as a blood technician and medical researcher since 1967 in South Africa. Everyday, she would encounter multiple victims of sexual assault at the hospital where she worked. Her job was to collect blood samples from rape survivors to check them for HIV, hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy that they may have contracted due to the rape encounter.
It was a patient who prompted her to pursue such a response early in her career. Late one night in 1969, she was tending to a woman who had just survived an attack when the patient left her with words she would never forget.
Shaking in terror with tears running down her face, she said:
“If only I had teeth down there.”
Sonnet pledged to her that one day, she would do something to help others in her situation. Now several decades later, Sonnet intends to fulfil this promise by transforming her idea into a device designed to give women a stronger chance at escaping sexual assault and bring their attackers to justice.
There is no formal “organization” to speak of. Sonnet and I do essentially everything that needs to be done to keep Rape-aXe moving ahead on a daily basis. Sonnet handles the public relations and market research for South Africa and I handle the technical, manufacturing and the business side of things. We do not have an office and we both work out of our homes. We have no employees. We have a wide network of concerned supporters from all over the world, who help out in many different capacities such as providing support on website development, photography, video creation and editing, legal guidance, psychological counselling, crisis/trauma and rape counselling, medical advice and evaluation, product testing, etc. Where necessary we will hire contactors for additional services like patent submissions, safety testing, mold making and manufacturing.
MG: How big was the investment towards Rape-X?
LV: We believe no investment is too high if it provides a solution to the global rape epidemic.
We have both sunk our life savings into Rape-aXe in an effort to make this a reality, but this is not enough. We have established a crowdfunding site www.gofundme.com/rape-axe to help raise the money needed to buy the molds and assembly equipment to set up the manufacturing. This is approximately 300,000 USD. Additional funds will be required for registration in each country.
MG: How many trials did it go through before getting approval?
LV: Over the years, we have tested dozens of different materials and designs and manufacturing methods in an effort to come up with a design that is safe and effective. We have additional improvements that we can make to the product when we have sufficient sales volumes that we can implement these changes without significantly increasing the price to the customer.
Thank you for your time, you are welcome to add any information you deem necessary to this interview. Could you also provide images of the gadget for use in the article. Please feel free to use any additional information, pictures or videos that you can find on our website www.rape-stop.com and the crowdfunding page www.gofundme.com/rape-axe Please feel free to ask if there is something you need in addition