South Africa: Government Agrees to Address Hate Crime of "Corrective Rape"
Thursday, March 17, 2011 1:30 PM

The government of South Africa has agreed to address the hate crime of "corrective rape" in response to activist demands. "Corrective rape" is the rape of a lesbian by a man with the purpose of correcting her sexual orientation. Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development officials met with activists who brought a petition with 170,000 signatures from supporters in 163 different countries. The petition had been posted on, and the government responded when it garned many signatures.

Although South Africa's constitution does not allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, and it was the first African country to legalize same-sex marriage, activists state that victims of corrective rape may also experience torture, exposure to HIV, and an unresponsive justice system, and that suicide is not uncommon.

Compiled from: UN Wire, IRIN Africa: South Africa: Activism makes inroads on "corrective rape" (17 March 2011).