Dan Rather to Report on “Corrective Rape” used to “Cure” Lesbians in South Africa
Tonight on “Dan Rather Reports,” Rather will take an in-depth look at a disturbing trend on the rise in South Africa—”corrective rape.” The term refers to when lesbian women are attacked by men who believe that rape can “cure” or “correct” the victim’s sexual orientation.
With homosexuality banned in 38 African countries, and punishable by death in three of them, gay rights are hot button issues on the continent. Even though South Africa is the only country in Africa that specifically bans all discrimination based on sexual orientation, there is still an alarming frequency of these attacks on lesbian women.
Continue reading after the jump…
Corrective rapes drew more public attention recently after the brutal murder of soccer star Eudy Simelane, who was beaten, stabbed, and raped, many believe, because she was openly lesbian.
“We could see that they tried to rape her,” said Lindiwe Lasindwa, a local government representative and neighbor of Simelane. “So, to us, immediately, because it is somebody who knew her, that she is a lesbian, therefore, they wanted to force themselves on her.”
Activists in South Africa are working to make sure these crimes are prosecuted, but unfortunately the victims are often reluctant to come forward due to strong cultural mores that still look down on homosexuality.
“When I reported the incident to police, it was like a joke,” said lesbian activist and rape victim, Funeka Soldaat. “They were just interested in the way I was dressing more than the case. As if I really deserved it.”
Be sure to watch tonight on HDNet at 8:00 P.M. ET with an encore at 11:00 P.M. ET.