Victimisation in the lives of lesbian-identified women in South Africa: implications for clinical assessment and treatment

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 5
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Few clinical studies have examined victimisation in the lives of lesbian women in South Africa and whether there are distinct implications for psychological treatment. This paper presents the assessment and treatment of a lesbian-identified South African survivor of childhood sexual abuse who, as an adult, was raped and later gang raped. Her victimisation in adulthood represented ‘corrective rape’ motivated by the prejudiced assumption that the sexuality of lesbian women is pathological and should be ‘corrected’ through rape. This paper lends insights into the role of heterosexism in shaping vulnerability to victimisation and the process of recovery. It provides recommendations for work with sexual minority clients and highlights the implications when there is an absence of safety and support in the external environment.