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Campaign to stop ‘corrective rape’

Published Aug 1, 2011

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The justice and social development ministries will host awareness and education meetings in KwaThema, Springs, against ”corrective rape” - a term used to describe the rape of lesbians to “cure” them of their sexual orientation.

This emerged yesterday during a briefing on the government’s programme for Women’s Month in August.

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“(It’s to) educate communities about the rights of lesbian women,” said Lulu Xingwana, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities.

She added that the Justice Ministry had established a task team, which included NGOs, to investigate and make recommendations so that the justice minister could address challenges, “particularly the criminals who are involved in this so-called corrective rape”.

Following the gang-rape and murder of Noxolo Nogwaza in April in KwaThema, about 170 000 people worldwide have signed a petition calling for an end to corrective rape.

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There also has been a call to declare it a hate crime.

Luleki Sizwe, a charity assisting rape survivors in Cape Town, estimates that each week at least 10 lesbians are raped, but few cases were reported because victims were afraid of police ridicule and stigma.

Other Women’s Month campaigns, Xingwana said, would raise awareness to prevent the transmission of HIV/Aids from mother to child and to increase the number of people donating blood. - Political Bureau

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