13-Year-Old Lesbian Latest Victim of ‘Corrective’ Rape in South Africa

A 13-year-old South African girl who openly self-identifies as a lesbian has become the latest victim of “corrective” rape, that is to say where a woman is sexually violated in a supposed attempt to turn her straight. 

The incident occurred in Pretoria last Thursday, and unlike other recent victims she did survive the attack. Reports also indicate that an unnamed transgender person may also have been raped over the weekend.

More from The Guardian:

Officials said the 13-year-old victim’s case is being investigated by police and she and her family are receiving support. Tlali Tlali, a government spokesman, said it seemed to be another incident of corrective rape, adding: “Government condemns this senseless and cowardly act of criminality.”

Tlali said every South African had the right to express themselves in the sexual orientation of their choice. “Gay and lesbian rights are human and constitutional rights which must be protected and respected at all times.”

Ndumie Funda, founder of the Luleki Sizwe Project, a charity that supports survivors of corrective rape in Cape Town, said she had heard reports of a transgender person being raped over the weekend. “It is getting worse and needs to come to an end,” she said. “People are not being given a platform to come out of the closet. What about those who are locked in a cage and cannot come out? It’s not fair and it’s about time we talk.”

Funda, 37, became involved in the campaign when she met Nosizwe Nomsa Bizana, who had been raped at gunpoint by five men and infected with HIV. The couple became engaged but Bizana died in 2007. Funda is forced to take a different route home every day to avoid being targeted because of her public activism.

She estimates about 510 women report corrective rape in South Africa each year and warned of a popular backlash. “It is about time we retaliate,” she said.

Possible action includes disrupting imminent local elections. “We used to say during the apartheid era we will deal with them the way the enemy deals with us. The retaliation will be legitimated by the reaction of the people. I cannot give further details until I confer with the other comrades.”

This is not a unique incident. Just last month Noxolo Nogwaza, 24, was raped and then stoned to death by a gang of men who were heard to shout anti-gay epithets. Nogwaza was open about her sexuality and was a member of a local LGBT rights organization. Advocates noted that Nogwaza’s murder was terribly reminiscent of lesbian soccer player Eudy Simelane’s murder three years ago.

While South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution explicitly protects gay people from discrimination and violence, human rights advocates warn of an “epidemic” of violence against gay and gender nonconforming people in South Africa.

The South African government has set up a panel to deal with hate crimes after an international outcry from LGBT rights advocates and organizations that the murders were not being properly investigated. How the panel will tackle this issue remains to be seen.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to brainchildvn.


janet T.
janet t.4 years ago

I think it is interesting that some men think they should be so interested in other people's sex lives and orientation. The way we used to put it was " who died and made him God?"

Irene P.
Irene P.4 years ago

Amber T. Barbaric is right.. tragic for this poor 13 y/o child.. so very sad! I hope she can recover from this someday!

Christine Stewart

Corrective rape is just an excuse for violent bastards to get away with a crime. I am quite sure they don't really care about trying to turn the woman "straight"- the men see her as an easy target. Why do serial killers choose prostitutes or homeless people? The nutjobs can claim that they are offended by whores or hobos, but it's really because it's easier to get away with murder with a victim that much of society doesn't hold dear...

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Time to put heavy economic pressure on South Africa. It worked when they had apartheid and it helped to get rid of it. Now it's time to do it again. As long as SA can't protect women and children and strike down hard on perpetratoers of rape, the rest of the global community must let the SA government know we're watching them and are demanding results!

Patrick F.
Patrick f.5 years ago

Don't hurt yourself falling off your soapbox you know who

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

Corrective rape? I was raped and if ANYTHING it made me NOT want to be with a man again...
Sure... getting beaten and violated by men definately would make a woman want one... note sarcasm. Some people have no brain at all... how do they function at all with such low intelligence?

Diane L.
Diane L.5 years ago

Whoops, made a typo.......I meant "choose", not "chose".

Oh, and I did disagree with another member who said unfactually, that maybe the girl had TURNED lesbian because she'd been sexually abused in the past. I corrected that mis-information, since it's well-documented that gays and lesbians are BORN who they are, and don't "turn". There is scientific evidence to support the theory about different chromosomal make-up during gestation.

Diane L.
Diane L.5 years ago

Patrick, I didn't start anything. I posted to this discussion long before you chose to jump in and attack me, and please (I'm trying to be polite and use the word as well) don't dictate to me about whether or not I can comment back to you in ANY discussion. Chose to read it or not, your choice.

I take things personally when my name is included in the comment, and when that's done, I have every right to respond to what is said. I've never called you names, but you can't say the same, can you? No, I don't have an "ego" bigger than most men, certainly not bigger than yours, and how dare you dictate to me what my privileges on Care.2 are? If you've ever read the C.O.C., you'd have realized that your name-calling is not allowed, but in THE one other discussion where you kept popping in with insults, you told me you didn't CARE what Care.2 thought.

I apologize if I haven't taken the time to research every discussion on Care.2 to find any others that you comment on, and I really don't care. I'm only concerned with the ones that are of interest to me, and there are several, but this and one other are the only ones that I've ever noticed your "username". I certainly haven't ever responded to any comments you've made if there were any, unless I noticed them as stating something I disagreed with, and as is my right, that I would have definitely done. You accused me of not understanding "anyone else"? Really? Seems I agree with most everyone else, actually.

Patrick F.
Patrick f.5 years ago

Diane L. YOU started this whole thing and are just plain manipulative. I have no interest in even reading your craziness but you clearly don't get anyone else's point so I simply corrected you.
If someone says something in general, YOU take it personally, that is because you have a bigger ego than most men. I respond to several causes but you don't see them because you are too busy admiring yourself in the mirror. PLEASE do not comment anymore to anything I say, you are abusing your privileges here.

Diane L.
Diane L.5 years ago

Why, Patrick! Thank you for the humor & entertainment.......it's a slow night on TV.

I'll try to explain something to you......"cyber" stalking is when someone follows another online and does nothing but post nasty and negative remarks and insults to them. I've yet to see your username in ANY discussion except one other where I've posted a comment and it was not to state anything relevant to the topic, only to insult me. You did the same thing to another member who got sick of reading your negativity and irrelevant rants and attacked her, as well. I just thought if your only goal in life is to respond to what I say in Care.2's discussions, I'd save you the trouble of trying to figure out which ones I'm participating in and give you a list. Have a nice night, week, or whenever it is that you come out from under your rock. :)