"Corrective Rape" in Jamaica? ….. Yes

Yet again another lesbian has suffered at the hands of men who think they can rape away lesbianism out of a woman. The sick act took place in a rural community in upper St. Andrew hills. The woman who is a visiting Jamaican student from a University on study leave resided in her family home and was scheduled to return to the Unites States this September for continued studies. According to my source she returned from a house a few chains away where she had gone to ask a favour about 7pm on July 31, 2009.

She was met at her gate’s entrance which was dark by two men who tried the usual improper Jamaica male advances with suggestive remarks. Other family members had gone out, apparently she has been eyed by the men in the area since her arrival. It was mentioned that she went to the local shop where men heckled her after she ignored their verbal advances again laced with suggestive remarks. The accusation of her lesbianism began there actually but she ignored the remarks thinking her family’s name and reputation in the community would be a buffer for her. Jamaican men are notorious for accusing a woman of being a lesbian if she ignores his public utterances usually laced with sexual overtones.

The men as it turns out where apart of that group who heckled her before and they reminded her before and while committing the gruesome act. The men took turns assaulting the woman before threatening her not to say anything or they would get other men to kill her. The family is stunned. Unfortunately this is the third major case of Corrective Rape this year to my knowledge, the other two involved lesbian couples living together and were committed in Kingston and Portmore communities.

So as it stands our sisters in South Africa aren’t the only victims of this awful practice and we must now face yet another ugly reality of homophobic violence towards lesbians. There has been a steady increase in homophobia resulting in violence towards lesbians since my time at a GLBT organisation to present, from stabbings to illegal evictions and beatings.
Just earlier this year a “butch” was beaten as she was told to leave her community of her birth as she was nasty. The men couldn’t physically handle her to rape her so they treated her as a man based on some of the comments that came to my attention as the act was committed. Cases like this leave many women scared and they don’t even bother to report these issues to the police as mistrust is a primary reason and the slow pace of the justice system is another.

I haven’t been able to contact the woman in question and I wouldn’t want to rehash the event with her either, she has since removed from the town but her father is livid and has vowed that it is not over. One of the men in question has been seen leaving the area with a large bag. Wonder where is he going?
I am praying for her speedy recovery so she can return to building her life, sad that in the land of her birth this is the gift she receives for a coming home visit.

Stay strong people, why can’t we be tolerant for god’s sake.

H

Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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