Durban - Transgender women in Durban have been raped by men as a form of punishment and ‘correcting’ them.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) community have joined the #TotalShutdown Women’s march in Durban where hundreds have joined in to tell the world ‘My body is not your crime scene’.
As the march got underway, Prince Dlamini from the Durban Lesbian and Gay Centre said violence was common within the LGBTI society.
“There is violence in our community, more especially with regards to Lesbian and Trans women, because people still don’t understand trans women and they always want to correct you because your gender,” said Dlamini.
Rape is often a form of punishment within the society that boasts itself on the values of social acceptance and pride. And reporting this crime is difficult.
Dlamini said the centre has had to approach police to assist them in understanding how to deal with gender-based violence when the victims are members of the LGBTI society.
Said Dlamini: “At those police stations where we have de-sensitized officers we do get proper service. But that is not always the case. It depends on the police officer as an individual.”
At the #TotalShutdown march, Durban spokesperson, Ncumisa Ndelu, reminded the crowd that gender-based violence was not just common assault.
“It’s a hate crime,” she said.
Leticia Sishi, an advocate for the LGBTI community, said she only wanted to be accepted as a woman.
“It matters for me to be here, I am woman indeed. I am woman in South Africa, I want to be treated as a woman,” she said.
Later, Dlamini added: “I’m just as much of a human as you are. It’s just that my sexuality is different.”
The Durban Lesbian and Gay Centre in Morningside offers support assistance.
Contact them on 0313127402.