Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 02/4/2011
Awareness: “Corrective Rape”
According to a recent report by ActionAid – an international NGO – there’s a rising, incredibly homophobic and violent trend amongst South Africans. In addition to waves of homophobic attacks and murders in townships like Johannesburg and Cape Town, South African lesbians are the victims of “corrective” rape.
“Corrective rape” is the practice of a heterosexual man raping a lesbian with the intent of “turning” her heterosexual. As if the act of rape weren’t enough, many of these women experience after effects of contracting HIV/AIDS and lasting psychological trauma, including a rise in depression and suicide attempts.
What’s even more frustrating than the occurrence of Corrective Rape is the South African government’s complete unwillingness to act on behalf of the victims. South Africa’s national prosecuting authority, in response to the rising trend, stated, “While hate crimes – especially of a sexual nature – are rife, it is not something that the South African government has prioritised as a specific project.” The understandable outrage this comment has caused is underscored by the fact that recent research shows 86% of black lesbians from the Western Cape currently live in fear of sexual assault, and a gay rights organization in the area reports that it deals with up to ten new cases of “corrective rape” every week. Not to mention that 24 of 25 South African men accused of rape walk free.
Please consider signing this petition to declare “Corrective Rape” a hate crime. They’re only about 5,000 signatures away from their goal of 150,000 and every signature counts!
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