There is a significant practice in South Africa, to which most of us in Ireland are ignorant. The practice of raping homosexual women in an effort to ‘cure’ them and to force them to stop living ‘un-African’ lives. In many cases, the women are subjected to gang rape, torture, HIV-infection, and sometimes murder.
Court cases involving ‘corrective rape’ last years, and the criminals are granted release on very low bail, and more often than not, official documents relating to the crime get ‘lost’. In the meantime, the victims are subjected to further mental and physical abuse, depression, and yet more isolation in what is already a difficult community to live in as a homosexual.
Luleki Sizwe is a group in South Africa dedicated to the support of victims of the crime, and they have recently began an international campaign to try to force the South African government to make corrective rape a hate crime. According to their statistics, 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.
This sick and twisted crime continues to go largely unnoticed amongst the international community, and we must make a stand.
Firstly, please show your support by signing Luleki Sizwe’s petition and sharing the link on Facebook or Twitter (or any social network).
Secondly, contact the South African Embassy in your country and demand that this disgusting practice be finally wiped out completely, that proper support services be made available to victims, that perpetrators be subjected to harsh sentences, and that South Africa pushes towards more acceptance of the non-heterosexual communities.
In Ireland, the South African Embassy can be contacted at:
Embassy of South Africa, 2nd Floor, Alexandra House, Earlsfort Centre, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin, Ireland
Fax:+353-1-6615590 / +353-1-6615582