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Saturday, 9 October 2010

'Corrective rape' of lesbians in Jamaica

Corrective rape protest held at 7.30am at Emancipation Park, Kingston, 24 September
Source: GLBTQJ

Corrective Rape” is a borrowed term I use from the African experience of the sexual abuse of lesbian and bisexual women in a bid to straighten them out, the problem seems to be a hush hush issue which when it actually occurs to victims, they do not know where to turn. Many suffer in silence as they implode emotionally on themselves while few others fortunately have some support from family or friends despite the traumatic experience and their sexual orientation.

The last main case that came to my attention earlier this year one of the lesbian two sisters (from one case) who were abused I communicate with one a regular basis and she is upbeat as ever and in fact she has gone into advocacy mode so to speak as a one woman movement sharing her concerns for GLBTQ issues in general and assisting other sisters and brothers of homophobic violence in what small way she can, the other sister as I was informed is now coming around as I had concerns about her slow return to normality as she reluctantly sought to find the relevant counseling services at the time following the dastardly acts she was forced to perform on the three bastards. One of the three perpetrators has since been tried and sentenced to 29 years imprisonment as he had previous convictions of sexual abuse over his head while the others are out there doing god knows what to women. CISOCA, Centre for investigations of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse previously known as the rape unit is aware of the problem particularly in central Jamaica but they cannot prosecute suspects due to the fear many victims have of coming forward and testifying during their respective trials,or many cases don't get off the ground, I guess it’s hard as one has to relive the experience in plain site of ones attacker(s).

New cases

I have been able to confirm one that occurred in east Kingston only last Wednesday April 15, 2010 where a twenty year old bisexual sister was lured into a trap deliberately set by her attackers who informed her that she needs to straighten out herself and “stop mek woman fuck yuh” (stop allowing women to fuck you) as one or more of the eight men who savagely took turns raping her repeatedly advised her.

There seems to be a light connection to the recent marching band controversy in the walk for tolerance issue as one of the perpetrators made some reference to lesbianism and the boldness of gays in a march. The band is from the neighbouring community so it seems the fallout has borne some evidence.

I have managed to speak to her directly and she is slowly coming into good spirits she has been to the rape unit and is now following up on her prescribed anti retroviral medication course which basically acts as a prophylaxis regime to handle any eventuality of HIV infection, she is to continue this for the next 6 or so months as is customary for rape victims also she has done the necessary tests for other STIs and is cleared in that respect so thank God. She has the strong support of her mother which is good and I have done what little encouragement I can. She is to continue her official counseling sessions towards full recovery. She has relocated as well as the men have issued a threat of sorts. Why would eight men seek to do this when the general belief by men in Jamaica is that “man fi have nuff gal” (according to Beenieman) or men are to have multiple female sex partners. I thought we were a homophobic country so why would I want to see seven other men beside me entering the same orifice?

Strange how Jamaican men express their obvious hatred and contempt for women in these sick acts. I’ll address the hatred issue in another post.

The other two incidents I am tracking and hope to get sufficient details to provide a formal report allegedly occurred in Kingston in March and Clarendon in April respectively details are sketchy for the former but speculation is that the sole victim was attacked while on her way home from her daily activities by three men in her area one of whom has publicly expressed sexual interest in her by making advances but she refused, this is similar to a case that is documented of a student who returned to Jamaica on vacation from the states in 2008 who also suffered a similar fate.

The second case in rural Jamaica happened this month as well and it was a family member who made me aware of the incident as she wants the matter hushed. Her brother by the way is straight. I doubt I will be able to provide anymore information on this one but for as much as the numbers this will prove that the abuse of women continues.

How many the incidents like this have occurred that have slipped under the radar and no serious programs seem to be in place in our ad hoc GLBTQ advocacy system to treat with care to the victims of such an experience. Maybe as a gay man it looks strange to see such concern for lesbians maybe I am unique, who knows but homophobia is what it is no matter how it manifests itself and to whom.

If you know of any homophobic or for that matter lesbophobic incidents or have experienced your own please contact me on lgbtevent@gmail.com, glbtqjamaica@live.com this is with a view to document and track such cases for purposes of historical data and reference and possibly more.

Please be safe, look out for your neighbours and friends.

Peace and tolerance

H

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