Gay rights group LGBT Collective are warned with frequent cases of ‘corrective rapes’ in families, where parents are so desperate to have ‘straight’ children. They arrange the rape by choosing a relative, usually it’s a cousin or one of the parents himself, who carries out the necessary act.
The group was informed about at least 15 corrective rapes in the last five years, including a gay teenager forced to have sex with his own mother and several lesbian girls raped by their cousins and brothers. LGBT defenders believe that many more cases are left unreported because of shame associated with sexual assault and homosexuality in the country.
LGBT Collective spokesperson, Vyjayanti Mogli said: “We came across such cases not because they reported the rape, but because they sought help to flee their homes. Victims find it traumatising to speak of their brothers/ cousins turning rapists and prefer to delete the incident from their memories and cut off ties with their families. Which is why such cases almost never get reported.”
Corrective rape is the use of rape against people who do not conform to perceived social norms regarding human sexuality and gender roles, with goals of punishing “abnormal” behavior and reinforcing societal norms. The crime was first identified in South Africa, where it is sometimes supervised by members of the woman’s family or local community. It can result in physical and psychological trauma, mutilation, HIV infection, unwanted pregnancy, and may contribute to suicide.