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Pearl moved out and went to court to gain access, but three years later, she is still trying to win custody and is currently only allowed to visit her son at weekends."I used to sleep under a bridge, not eat, just cry. I took pills, took alcohol, drank cleaning appliances and then hanged myself.But God said, 'It is not your time'."Familial collusion in corrective rape is common, according to Carter. Any clergy or priest that approves [of] homosexuality is from the pit of hell."David Hessey, who works for the Gay and Lesbian Association, also blames the courts for failing to deal with corrective rape cases."It is not treated as a serious offence.Free Gender have "no phone, no computer, no money, no counsellors, nothing, except Funeka's house". Pearl doesn't know what conversation had taken place, only that "there was money involved".Her mother told her to go to her room."She said if I don't do what is right I won't get my lunch tomorrow."The man entered her bedroom."He locked my door and I was in my pyjamas about to get in bed and he told me how beautiful I was, how fast I am growing."He said he was going to sleep there with her, and started slapping Pearl, who screamed, bringing her mother to the door."She said, 'Pearl you are making noise, shut up'. He beat me – I was fighting him but he overpowered me and raped me."The next morning, Pearl's mother acted normally, and soon after asked him to move in.Corrective rape is a hate crime wielded to convert lesbians to heterosexuality – an attempt to 'cure' them of being gay.The term was coined in South Africa in the early 2000s when charity workers first noticed an influx of such attacks.Compared to many of South Africa's victims, Mvuleni was lucky: she survived. In 2007, to cite one incident, Sizakele Sigasa, a women's and gay rights activist, and her friend Salone Massooa, were outside a bar when a group of men started heckling and calling them tomboys. Mvuleni's case was also unusual as, unlike 24 out of 25 rapes that even reach trial in South Africa, two of her attackers were convicted and imprisoned for 25 years. Ever since a 1998-2000 report by the United Nations Office on Crime and Drugs ranked South Africa as highest for rapes per capita, it has repeatedly been described as the rape capital of the world: 500,000 rapes a year; one every 17 seconds; one in every two women will be raped in her lifetime.The women were gang raped, tortured, tied up with their underwear and shot in the head. Twenty per cent of men say the victim "asked for it", according to a survey by the anti-violence NGO, CIET.
One woman describes being anally raped by a gang brandishing a broom handle.
There is one testimony in particular that stands out, from a young woman called Pearl Mali.