Anti-pervert flame-throwers for safety
Security for women is not only a problem in South Africa, but the world over, and experts are searching for discreet self-defence weapons for women.
Now, pocket-sized flame-throwers are being marketed to women in China as an “anti-pervert weapon” online.
Soon they’ll land on our shores.
The flame-throwers can hurl a stream of fires, some half a metre long, to help women fend off unwanted advances, particularly from perverts who come on forcefully and ignore gentle requests to walk on by.
The device is being billed on shopping websites as a “must have” anti-pervert weapon that can be discreetly carried in a lady’s handbag.
Some are shaped like a cigarette lighter and emit small flames, while others hurl fire for up to 50cm with temperatures of up to 1 800°C.
The flame-throwers sell from about R170 to over R500 on e-commerce sites.
One vendor boasted to local media how the device can “scald or even disfigure an attacker”.
Another vendor told the Beijing Youth Daily they “can leave a permanent scar, but are a legal, non-lethal tool. Not a weapon.”
Chinese police have warned that the devices are against the law, but they were still being sold on the internet in China on Tuesday.
“Flames and the superhigh temperatures are enough to scare the bad guys away,” said one website, which added that the flames can last for 30 minutes.
“At that crucial moment, you could also become an anti-terror Swat,” said another.
It is unclear when the devices were first being sold in China, although Beijing Youth Daily said they had become “very popular” when concern over sexual harassment peaked at the start of summer, with some stores selling up to 300 units per month.
Police told Chinese media that it is “technically illegal” to send the devices to customers through the postal service.
There is concern that the flame-throwers could become the latest dangerous gadget to become popular in China, following a fad among some children for tiny crossbows which can shoot toothpicks or needles.
Concerns have also been raised that the device can cause injury to the person carrying it, as the switch can be accidentally turned on while it is in a handbag.
LET IT BURN Self-defense flame-throwers