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“Corrective” Rape Should Be a Hate Crime

“Corrective” Rape Should Be a Hate Crime

The international NGO ActionAid just released a chilling report documenting the rise of “corrective” rape of lesbian women in South Africa. According to ActionAid, South African men are attempting to “cure” these women of their sexual orientation by raping them. ActionAid writes that rape survivors “said that verbal abuse from their attackers before and during the rape included them ‘teaching us a lesson’ and ‘showing us how to be real women and what a real man tasted like.’”

Shocking enough, but what makes it even worse is that these crimes often go unpunished. British newspaper The Guardian describes the “culture of impunity” in South Africa with regard to “corrective” rape and other crimes committed because of sexual orientation.

The rape conviction statistics are bad enough. Only one out of every 25 men accused of rape in South Africa is convicted–and with the number of rapes estimated at about 500,000 each year, that’s a lot of rapists walking free. And with violence against women that commonplace, it’s not surprising to see a dramatic rise in the number of crimes targeting lesbian women, who, as ActionAid says, “are perceived as representing a direct threat to a male-dominated society.”

In Cape Town alone, there’s an estimated 10 cases of new “corrective” rape each week, according to gay and lesbian support groups in the area. And the crimes intensify; at least 31 women have been murdered in homophobic attacks since 1998–and that’s just what can be directly tied to sexual orientation. The lack of prosecution is evident there, too, with only one conviction in any of the 31 murders.

What can be done? Although South Africa’s constitution recognizes rights of gay and lesbian people, its legal system does not view crimes committed against gay and lesbians on the basis of sexual orientation to be hate crimes. The South African legal system must recognize “corrective” rape as a hate crime in addition to a rape in order to establish a greater punishment for this brutal and widespread act of sexual violence.

And that culture of impunity must be overcome, with the legal system focused on making “corrective” rape a crime for which perpetrators are tried and convicted. Join me in calling on South African Presidnet Kgalema Motlanthe to deem “corrective” rape a hate crime–and punish it to the strictest extent of the law.

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47 comments

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5:25PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

Charity B., you can bet xtian dollars from from walmart sized televangelists in the US are pushing for and funding legal support in So. Africa to promote rape cures for lesbians and executions of gays. That's why so many of us care what's happening there not to mention some us are not so self-centered as to not want a decent life for others. What did the So. African GLBT community do to us or you? Because once these overfunded bigots succeed in their anti-GLBT goals there they'll be even more inspired to bring it home. Not to mention all of the rape/snuff porn films these jerks probably view in their personal church/home theaters made at the expense of women and children in other countries. I guess those like Charity B. thinks of GLBT as subhuman and deserving of torture and execution.

9:52AM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

I will NEVER believe that these men truly believe that forcing sex on a woman would make her want more of it!!!!! They are absolutely creating a circumstance that lets them commit a horrible crime against a woman and convincing their twisted little minds that they are actually doing it to "save her". History is filled with these justifications - Herstory is filled with overcoming horrible treatment at the hands of men.

12:30PM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

Please refer this to Mr Mandela. Rape is violence and can never be corrective. It is merely brutal.

12:31AM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

rape is rape, it is awful crime

10:18AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

Rape is a rape .What does it matter what is the sexual orientation of the victim .I don't want to walk among criminals .MUST put in JAIL these bastards.!!!

11:06AM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

Rape is a crime, period. There is no such thing as corrective rape. This needs to stop now. Maybe castration should be a corrective measure for men who have babies and don't take care or responsibility for the kids.

6:47AM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

This is crazy and it's from 2009. What's happened since this was first posted?

4:13AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

That's totally unacceptable

6:22PM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

IM TALKING ABOUT COP. WHERE R THEY!!

4:54PM PDT on Apr 9, 2009

Sometimes they are...if you're close to a doughnut shop when you need them. I ALWAYS SAY THE SAME THING.

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Kathleen J. Kathleen is currently the Activism Coordinator at Care2. more
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