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southafricaA Human Rights Watch investigation has found that black lesbians in South Africa are living in fear of rape and harassment.

One woman said she endured a series of rapes by her cousin, her coach and her pastor according to We’ll Show You You’re a Woman report, which interviewed 121 lesbians and trans men. Another woman told how her drink was spiked so and she was then raped by her cousin’s boyfriend. These acts were reported to make the attacker into a hero within their community.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) have called on the South African Government to put an end to such hate crime, including the murder of some lesbians. Graeme Reid, director of HRW’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights programme, said: “It’s a grim picture. It’s a picture of fear and intimidation. A segment of South African society lives in terror and feels it has no one to turn to, including the police.”

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