Outrage of the Day- "Corrective" Rape

12:19 PM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 2 Comments »

"A report by the international NGO ActionAid, backed by the South African Human Rights Commission, said the horrific crimes against lesbians were going unrecognised by the state and unpunished by the legal system.

The report called for South Africa's criminal justice system to recognise the rapes as hate crimes in an attempt to force police to take action over the rising tide of violence.

The ferocity of the attack became clear in April last year when Eudy Simelane, former star of South Africa's national female football squad, became one of the victims. Miss Simelane, and equality rights campaigner and one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian, was gang-raped and brutally beaten before being stabbed 25 times in the face, chest and legs. But scores more women have been deliberately targeted for rape, the Guardian reports.

"Every day I am told that they are going to kill me, that they are going to rape me and after they rape me I'll become a girl," Zakhe Sowello from Soweto, told the paper. "When you are raped you have a lot of evidence on your body. But when we try and report these crimes nothing happens, and then you see the boys who raped you walking free on the street." Research shows 86 per cent of black lesbians from the Western Cape live in fear of sexual assault. Triangle, a gay rights organisation, said it deals with up to 10 new cases of "corrective rape" every week.

"What we're seeing is a spike in the numbers of women coming to us having been raped and who have been told throughout the attack that being a lesbian was to blame for what was happening to them," Vanessa Ludwig, the chief executive at Triangle, told the paper.

Support groups claim an increasingly macho political environment led to inaction over attacks.

A statement released by South Africa's national prosecuting authority said: "While hate crimes – especially of a sexual nature – are rife, it is not something that the South African government has prioritised as a specific project."

Human rights and equality campaigners are hoping that the public outrage and disgust at Miss Simelane's death and the July trial of the three men accused of her rape and murder will help put an end to the spiralling violence."

First of all, rape from men would only validate their sexual orientation. If they were really trying to "correct" lesbianism, this is the exact opposite way to go about it.
Secondly, this is another example of society at large believing that women are not/should not be in control of our own bodies and our sexuality.
Rape isn't about sexual attraction, which is why trying to hold women accountable for dressing/acting/looking a certain way is offensive. Rape is about control. When a woman says no, a rapist sees himself as having a "right" to her body. He thinks he has a "right" to control her, then shifts the blame anywhere but on himself. By raping these women these rapists are trying to exert their control over them because by being lesbians the criminals think that they exist outside of the patriarchy. So rape = control = enforcing conformity to their idealogy in the rapist's mind.
ETA: Email the South African Ministry of Justice and remind them that as a government it is their duty to protect ALL of their citizens, not just the white, heterosexual, land-owning, male ones. Found the link at Shakespeare's Sister.


Anonymous said...

Well. You appear to have strong views regarding rape. For the record, I think that rape is bad, and that no means no, in any language. However it might prove interesting to look into the ratio of rapes with the following criteria: Percent raped wearing clothing that accentuates her body vs. percent raped wearing clothing that does not. In order to be fair to all, study should include different cultural standards. Not looking to place any type of blame, just would like to see equal responsibility for the actions taken.

SLiver of Jade said...

Yes, I do feel strongly about rape. I am a woman, who has been raped. By her boyfriend because she had the audacity to refuse his advances. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, not skank heels and a mini-dress.

Acquaintance rape is the most common form of rape. And think about what that means when 1 in 4 women is likely to be sexually assaulted in some way.

Well, studies have been done. Such as the link on the word "control" as to rapist psychology.

Go educate yourself before musing about where the blame really lies. The studies and the reports are out there.