Make time to read Victoria A. Brownworth's harrowing op-ed for The Advocate entitled "The Other Ex-Gay 'Therapy,'" which details the near epidemic wave of anti-gay violence, murder and corrective rape in South African against lesbians.
One of the victims profiled is 26-year-old Duduzile ZoZo, who was found murdered on June 30. Brownworth writes:
"Duduzile, an out lesbian, was partially naked and a toilet brush had been shoved into her vagina, rupturing it. She was found by her mother, Thuziwe Zozo, about 40 feet from the Zozo home, in a neighbor’s yard.
The neighbor was questioned and released by police, but Mrs. Zozo said she did not understand why he had told people he didn’t know who the victim was, when they were well-acquainted and lived next door to each other. No one else has been questioned in Zozo’s murder, which has garnered national attention and which has — unlike previous corrective rapes — been labeled a hate crime"
Corrective rape is not limited to South Africa. Incidents have been reported in Thailand, Ecuador, Jamaica and Zimbabwe. However, corrective rape is most prevalent in South Africa, which officials stating at least 10 rapes occur each week in the Cape Town area alone. Many of the attacks occur in all-black townships, and most of the victims are black.
What makes this all the more shocking and tragic is, on the books at least, LGBT folks in South Africa have many rights, including marriage equality.
Fellow blogger Rod 2.0 has covered corrective rape in South Africa, and gay rights in Africa, extensively. Read his posts here.