Friday, March 13, 2009
Lesbians living in South Africa are being raped by men who believe it will cure them of their sexual orientation
Women are reporting a rising tide of brutal homophobic attacks and murders and the widespread use of corrective rape as a form of punishment. The report, commissioned by international NGO ActionAid, called for South Africa's criminal justice system to recognise the rapes as hate crimes as police are reportedly failing to take action over the spiralling violence. The extent of the brutality became clear when Eudy Simelane, former star of South Africa's national female football squad, became one of the victims in April 2008. Simelane, one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian and an equality rights campaigner, was gang-raped and beaten before being stabbed to death 25 times in the face, chest and legs. Triangle, a gay rights organisation, said it deals with up to 10 new cases of 'corrective rape' every week.