Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Use of Sexual Assault to “Cure” Lesbians in South Africa

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It's called Corrective Rape. In a disturbing report that appeared recently in the NY Times entitled “Hate Crimes: the rise of corrective rape in South Africa,” the NGO Action Aid ( said:

In South Africa, no woman is safe from violence. The country’s war against its women continues unabated, with an estimated 500,000 rapes, hundreds of murders and countless beatings inflicted every year. For every 25 men accused of rape in South Africa, 24 walk free.

This shameful record has resulted in an increasingly brutal and oppressive culture of male violence, in which women are forced to conform or suffer the consequences.

As part of this oppression, the country is now witnessing a backlash of crimes targeted specifically at lesbian women, who are perceived as representing a direct threat to a male-dominated society.

… Support groups say that rape is fast becoming the most widespread hate crime targeted against gay women in townships across South Africa. One lesbian and gay support group says it is dealing with 10 new cases of lesbian women being targeted for “corrective” rape every week in Cape Town alone.

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