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The Lives and Crimes of South Africans: Lesbians and 'Corrective Rape'

By HERWriter Guide
 
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South Africa has an unfortunate history in many ways. Aside from the wreckage that apartheid caused, and the general poverty and crime levels, the treatment of women and girls is often horrendous.

South Africa has been dubbed the Rape Capital of the World. Not only is rape commonplace in South Africa, but these vicious crimes are also perpetrated against children and infants as young as a few months old. Young children and babies often die from the trauma or need extensive reconstructive surgery to repair the damage. The government has done little to intervene.

Another form of abuse against women is what's called "corrective rape". This is the deliberate targeting of gay women for rape, on the assumption that "having sex" with a man will cause her to become heterosexual.

Since South African police don't make a distinction between corrective rape and other kinds of rape, it's unknown how high the numbers are but it's widely considered to be a large and growing problem in the lesbian community. And like in other cases of rape, many go unreported because little is done about rape and women often feel belittled by authorities and also feel that bigoted authorities may condone the reasoning behind the rapes.

Recognition of corrective rape in South Africa became more widespread with the rape and murder of athlete Eudy Simelane, an openly gay sportswoman who played for South Africa's national female football team. Eudy was gang-raped and murdered and dumped by a creek.

The South African Human Rights Commission consider her rape and murder a hate crime. Two of her rapist-murders were found guilty, two more were found not guilty.

Rape is frighteningly commonplace in South Africa with at least one in four women being victims. According to The Guardian, "Campaigners say so-called corrective rape, in which men rape lesbians to 'cure' them of their sexual orientation, is on the increase in South Africa. Thirty-one lesbians have been killed because of their sexuality in the past decade, campaigners say, and more than 10 lesbians a week are raped or gang-raped in Cape Town alone."

Add a Comment1 Comments

Susan:

What a horrifying obscenity! Thank you for sharing this story and making us aware. More needs to be done to promote the security and rights of women throughout the world.

Survival > Existence,

Debbie

December 9, 2011 - 7:59am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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