Yara Blog


When the Law has No Power: The “Corrective Rape” Situation in South Africa


Thursday, January 10th, 2013  

www,icr.org

www,icr.org

South Africa has long been celebrated as the “Rainbow nation” because of her plurality and diversity. And, although South Africa was the first country to grant constitutional recognition to the protection of the rights of homosexuals, there appears to be a wide gulf between law and practice in this “progressive” state.

In recent times, there have been several cases of what has been termed “corrective rape” or “curative rape”. This refers to a situation where women who have sex with women (WSW) are sexually and brutally ‘punished’ by men for being gay and violating traditional gender presentation. Not long ago, on May 4, 2011, a 13 year old girl was raped near Pretoria, South Africa, because of her sexual orientation.  According to the young victim, her assailant told her he was “curing” her of lesbianism. This is just one of the many attacks on the dignity and bodily integrity of lesbian women. It is worth noting that such incidents of violence against WSW are not peculiar to South Africa but have also occurred in other African states like Zimbabwe and Uganda, as well as in Jamaica.

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