Zukiswa Gaca, an openly lesbian South African woman, attempted to commit suicide by laying down on train tracks after she was raped for the second time. She was a victim of 'corrective rape'—also known as 'curative rape'—and struggled with sexual discrimination her entire life.
In South Africa, lesbians are in constant fear of assault. It’s suspected that at least ten are raped every week in Cape Town alone. They are being attacked—not only by strangers, but by family members, friends and neighbors. Thirty-one lesbians have been murdered since 1998, and yet there have only been two convictions. Many victims of 'corrective rape' are too ashamed and afraid to file a police report or tell anyone.
This intolerant aggression and brutality towards lesbians in South Africa must end. Now is the time for the government to take a stand and ensure the basic human rights of their homosexual community. Stand with Avaaz and demand the South African government take necessary steps to address the issue of 'corrective rape'. Tell President Zuma of South Africa and Minister of Justice Radebe to protect their citizens—no matter their sexual orientation or gender.
Photo Credit: James Akena/Reuters
To: Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe, President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma of South Africa
'Corrective rape' attacks against lesbians are a growing problem in South Africa. You need to condemn and criminalize these hate crimes right away.
National reports indicate that 50% of women in South Africa are raped during their lifetime—and the risk is higher still for lesbians. Studies show one in four men in South Africa admit to having raped at least one woman in their lifetimes.
In your Constitution, you guarantee dignity and equality for all. However, lesbians are falling victim to hate crimes on a daily basis. South Africa needs to take a more direct legislative and judicial approach to 'corrective rape' cases. I stand with Avaaz and demand you help end the problem of 'corrective rape'.
[Your name here]