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Saturday, January 4, 2014

SHOCKING Stories Of Lesbians "Corrective Rape" Was Used On To Cure Them Of Lesbianism In South Africa

Mvuleni stands in the alley where she was abducted (Clare Carter)
Corrective rape is a hate crime wielded to convert lesbians to heterosexuality – an attempt to 'cure' them of being gay.
The term was coined in South Africa in the early 2000s when charity workers first noticed an influx of such attacks.
But despite recognition and international coverage, corrective rape in the region is escalating in severity.

Here are shocking, horrible stories of South African lesbians who have fallen victim to the practice.
  • Mvuleni Fana was walking down a quiet alleyway in Springs – 30 miles east of Johannesburg – on her way home from football practice one evening when four men surrounded her and dragged her back to the football stadium.
She recognised her attackers.
One by one, the men raped her, beating her unconscious and leaving her for dead.
The next morning, Mvuleni came round, bleeding, battered, in shock, and taunted by one overriding memory – the last thing they said to her before she passed out:
After everything we're going to do to you, you're going to be a real woman, and you're never going to act like this again".
Compared to many of South Africa's victims, Mvuleni was lucky: she survived.
At least 31 women in the past 15 years did not.
  • In 2007, to cite one incident, Sizakele Sigasa, a women's and gay rights activist, and her friend Salone Massooa, were outside a bar when a group of men started heckling and calling them tomboys.
The women were gang raped, tortured, tied up with their underwear and shot in the head. Executed. No one was ever convicted!

Pearl Mali, who was 'correctively' raped at the age of 12, photographed in Khayelitsha, Cape Town (Clare Carter)
  • There is one testimony in particular that stands out, from a young woman called Pearl Mali. Pearl is now 21. She was 12 when it happened.
Her mother suspected Pearl might be a lesbian as she was a "tomboy" and so one day her mother returned home from church with an "old man".
Pearl doesn't know what conversation had taken place, only that "there was money involved". Her mother told her to go to her room.

"She said if I don't do what is right I won't get my lunch tomorrow."
The man entered her bedroom.

"He locked my door and I was in my pyjamas about to get in bed and he told me how beautiful I was, how fast I am growing."
He said he was going to sleep there with her, and started slapping Pearl, who screamed, bringing her mother to the door.

"She said, 'Pearl you are making noise, shut up'. He told me to take off my clothes and I refused. He beat me – I was fighting him but he overpowered me and raped me."

The next morning, Pearl's mother acted normally, and soon after asked him to move in.

For the next four years he regularly raped Pearl, as her de-facto husband, to make her straight. She tried going to the police, but they started "laughing" when she said the most recent rape was last week. They expect women to come immediately.

Pearl became pregnant by him at 16, prompting her to go to the police again, who this time imposed a restraining order against the man.
But days after giving birth, her abuser came to the house while she was alone with the baby.

"He wanted to touch me again so I was fighting and fighting [him]. He kicked me on my waist and all the stitches got loose." Though she successfully fought him off, Pearl's troubles soon spiralled.
"My mum and this guy took the baby away when he was seven months old because I was still a lesbian."

Her mother believed that if Pearl touched and fed the boy "it will make him gay". Pearl moved out and went to court to gain access, but three years later, she is still trying to win custody and is currently only allowed to visit her son at weekends.

"I used to sleep under a bridge, not eat, just cry. I hanged myself; it was on a Monday. I took pills, took alcohol, drank cleaning appliances and then hanged myself. But God said, 'It is not your time'."

Happiness and Blessing, Simphiwe Thandeka's children born from two of her attacks, photographed in Ashdown, Pietermaritzburg (Clare Carter)
Simphiwe's children

  • Another victim, Simphiwe Thandeka, from Pietermaritzburg was 13, and a "tomboy", when a male relation started asking, "Why do you dress like this?". He raped her in bed one night, putting a pillowcase over her mouth.
"He told me to keep quiet. At the time I didn't know it was rape."

When she told her mother the next day – because she was bleeding heavily – her mother replied that it is a "family matter", and neglected to tell Simphiwe that the man is HIV positive.

 Simphiwe only discovered she had contracted the virus – a common outcome for such victims – three years later when she became pregnant by the man's friend, whom he had tried to marry her off to in a final attempt to "correct" her sexuality.

After repeatedly raping and beating her with a coat hanger, the friend sent Simphiwe back to her uncle, realising she would never be heterosexual and they would therefore never "get on".

Soon, however, she was pregnant. She called her baby Happiness.

Now a mother, a local man told a friend of Simphiwe's that he was attracted to her, but the friend informed him that she liked women.

"He told her, 'I'll prove this girl is not a man, but is a girl'. I was scared. He came to my home, he said he wanted to apologise for what he told my friend, but then he blocked me with his hand. He raped me in the dining room."

This time she went to the police but "they take his side... so nothing I can say or do". She called her second child Blessing.

Lillian, aged 26, from the Republic of Cabinda (formerly a province of Angola) says:
"The men will rape you so you can taste how good it is to sleep with a man. They gonna really rape you badly to teach you a lesson – they think if they do that you will forget who you are."
According to the men who admit to corrective rape:
"If we want to finish lesbians and gays they must be forcefully raped. A man must go back to his manhood. Women must be women. She must be ready and willing to have sex. They must be raped so that their gay and lesbian behaviour can come out. This gay and lesbian thing must end. I say bang bang bang!"
All South African interviews were by Clare Carter, the photographer behind these images.
Story culled from TheIndependent

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