An Exploration of Hate Crime Against Homosexuals: A Case Study of Port Shepstone Rural Communities

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Hate crime against homosexuals in other countries is seen as something which no longer exists even though it traces still prevails. Homosexuality is viewed as an dishonourable and a disease which comes from the West which is the reason why many of those engaging in homosexuality are abused. Homosexuality is an attraction which is romantic, sexual or sexual behaviour amongst same gender Kurdek, (2014). According to Herek (1989) hate crimes are expression or actions purposeful to harm or threaten a person based on their sexual orientation that include rape, murder, violent assaults and property crimes. This type of crime is also known as bias crime which is done against an individual, property or institution that is motivated by the offender’s race, colour, gender or sexual orientation group (Herek, 1989). Moreover, in some places, same-sex relations are still seen as the disgrace. Therefore, this study will broadly discuss the hate crime against homosexuals as well as the challenges they face such as being bullied and how hate crime leads to violence. This type of crime often represents the dark figures of crime since the victims may fear being victimised in future and future contact with the perpetrator. Homosexuality is a sexual orientation or something which is against the norms.

Historical Overview of Hate Crime Against Homosexuals

The hate crime against homosexuals has dark figures as it is stated above, as many victims do not usually come forward with their situations and violence they are facing. In evidence of Mkhize et, al (nd) violence against women is often companied that no women shall be subjected to abuse or violence, this is mostly evidence in the 16 days of activism yet the homosexuals or lesbians experience violence. Hate motivated crime against homosexuals is an everyday intimidating reality for lesbian yet violent motivated by hatred a prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity remains largely unseen (hate crime survey, 2008). Since the hate crime against sexual orientation is not often reported, the researchers mostly focus on proposing the strategies because the grassroots are not always known (Jilani, 2019). Historically LGBT community were not protected by any laws or legislation and thus were not subjected to equal treatment. At a later, stage laws were introduced, and most people focused on the protective laws and forgot about the grassroots of hate crime against homosexuals and that this type of crime is still prevalent regardless of the laws or legislation introduced. Years before homosexuality was viewed as evil and was thus punishable it was mostly seen as an unacceptable act. In evidence of Green et, al (2001) police give unreliable data on the incidents of hate crime against homosexuals and no direct information is provided by the researchers. Post-apartheid in South Africa, is where all people experience democracy or the sense of freedom. Homosexuality is decriminalised in South Africa and same-sex individuals are free to marry each other according to Reddy (2006) yet the community of Port Shepstone still feels the need to act violently against homosexuals. “The SAPS do not have a category for hate crime or crimes” (Collison, 2018). There is even a lack of official statistics on hate crime against homosexuals. Theron and Bezuidenhout (1995) state that more than 73% homosexuals do not report being abused. “Based on statistics from the United States, it appears that lesbian and gay men are particularly vulnerable to hate crime, studies have found verbal abuse to be the most prevalent form of victimisation with 67% and 75% of the samples respectively having experienced it, physical assault was experienced by 22% of the samples.

Problem Statement

The hate crime against homosexuals still shows it traces in South Africa even though it has become the democratic South Africa. People can be discriminated based on their sexual orientation and to the stereotypes that the community place them in. Crime Stats SA (2015) shows a huge increase on sexual assault against homosexuals in Port Shepstone, an increase of 76% in 2014 compared to 2009. LGBT community can face discrimination at an early age where 56% were 24 years or younger reported to have experienced discrimination in school, 44% said they experienced discrimination after they have disclosed their status (De Barros, 2016). A total of 2130 homosexuals who reported being victims of violence based on their sexual orientation (De Barros, 2016) not much research is conducted in the rural areas based on hate crime against homosexuals. There was a time in Port Shepstone during winter 2 years back where lesbians and gays lived in fear as they were being raped and brutally killed, the motive behind was that they contradict with culture and gender roles since lesbian usually dresses like males. According to Wells and Polders (2006) in the 1970s and 1980s gay people were under the constant surveillance of the police who often raided in bars and cruising spots. Homosexuality was punishable during the apartheid era but decriminalised in post-apartheid. The problem of hate based crime against homosexual does not only affect the victims but also the whole community because this type of crime spread fear and anger throughout the community which makes the community seems to be dangerous and discriminatory towards LGTB people. In rural areas, the prevalence of hate crime against homosexuals is high due to the possibility of lack of education on homosexual rights. The study researcher noticed a gap on the grassroots of hate crime on homosexuals and the possible consequences hate crime have on the victims in the rural areas of port Shepstone and that even though they are laws that protect homosexuals, people from the rural areas still are not much educated on the topic. Hate crime against homosexuals has been viewed above as violence against gay men and lesbian women because of their sexual orientation, and which makes the homosexuals inferior to their abusers.


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An Exploration of Hate Crime Against Homosexuals: A Case Study of Port Shepstone Rural Communities. (2020, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/an-exploration-of-hate-crime-against-homosexuals-a-case-study-of-port-shepstone-rural-communities/

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