Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Rights group: South African lesbians face abuse

In South Africa, lesbians are being abused. Lesbians and transgender are living in constant fear of harassment as well as physical and sexual violence. The Human Rights Watch reported that this is a contrast to the South African constitution. Same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa and the country has among the most liberal laws on sexual orientation on the continent. But cultural attitudes don't always match the constitution approved in 1996 by lawmakers determined to show they were more progressive then their apartheid predecessors.

One woman told Human Rights Watch of a series of rapes by her cousin, her coach and her pastor. Another said a female cousin spiked her drink so that the cousin's boyfriend could rape her. A third said that after a rape. "I really hated myself."

Raping a lesbian, HRW researchers found, can make a man a township hero. Attackers boast publicly of their crimes and declare to their victims, "We'll show you you're a woman," the report said. Such attacks are known as "corrective rapes" in South Africa.

The Human Rights Watch is calling on the South African government to reach out and implement a system to free lesbians and transgender from living in fear. However, I don’t think it only depends on the government to make these changes. The citizens of South Africa need to realize that their society needs a change to protect the rights of all human beings. Educating the public is a step to bring change to South Africa to build the society that the country is trying to achieve.


SWATTY said...

I think it is hilarious that I just wrote a blog about this as well. I promise I didn't see yours first.
It is very sad that they are facing abuse and discrimination based on their "social group". I think it is very stupid, for lack of a better word, for others to discriminate on anyone who is different. I honestly think society is afraid of different! I take all differences as an opportunity to learn something new.

HumanRightsAdvocate23 said...

I just posted on Swatty's blog about this too!

I think you should read this article too:

Its horrific how the cultural stigmas related to LGBT has led to sexual violence that isn't necessarily caused by strangers. Education is a way forward and if you are interested - there is an initiative that uses soccer to bring community members in South Africa in for education.