South Africa: Curing lesbianism with rape?
Several weeks ago, survivors of "corrective rape" — a heinous practice in South Africa where lesbians are raped under the guise of "curing" them — started a petition on Change.org to ask the Minister of Justice to declare corrective rape a hate crime.
It has since become the largest-ever petition on Change.org, and the Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Justice has repeatedly contacted us to complain that they are overwhelmed with the messages coming from every part of South Africa and every corner of the globe. But the minister still refuses to meet with the activists who started the campaign — Ndumi Funda and the women of the non-profit Lulekisizwe.
"Corrective Rape" is a term used to describe when a male rapes a lesbian with the aim of ’turning’ her heterosexual!
This heinous crime is prolific in South Africa, especially in the "townships".
Most of the victims are tortured, grievously assaulted and sometimes murdered! They are also prone to getting HIV/AIDS from the assault, and many of them commit suicide as a result of the "corrective rape"!
The South African government and justice system are failing the victims of Corrective Rape by letting the perpetrators out on ridiculously low bail, and taking literally years to bring the court-cases to a conclusion. In the meantime the victims have to live with seeing and being taunted and threatened by their rapists every day, as do those who help the victims!
In the last 10 years:
*31 lesbian women have been murdered because of their sexuality
*More than 10 lesbians a week are raped or gang raped in Cape Town alone
*150 women are raped every day in South Africa
*For every 25 men accused of rape in South Africa, 24 walk free
Despite all this, hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation are not recognised by South African law!
We call on the South African government to declare "Corrective Rape" a Hate-Crime that is punishable by the harshest sentences!