Eastern Cape has highest likelihood of homophobic violence in SA

05 December 2017 - 16:20 By Claire Keeton
LGBTI people are three times more likely to be attacked in Eastern Cape than in any other province. File photo.
LGBTI people are three times more likely to be attacked in Eastern Cape than in any other province. File photo.
Image: iStock

People who are lesbian‚ gay‚ bisexual‚ transgender or intersex (LGBTI) are three times more likely to be attacked in Eastern Cape than in any other province‚ a report released on Tuesday by the Institute of Race Relations has found.

KwaZulu-Natal‚ followed by Limpopo‚ are the two next-worst provinces in terms of LGBTI people being exposed to assault‚ verbal or physical abuse from family‚ or sexual abuse and rape.

Western Cape‚ followed by Gauteng‚ are the only provinces where a higher proportion of individuals are more open about their identity than the national average of 57%.

Nearly 800‚000 people identify as members of the LGBTI community‚ yet violence and discrimination are rife in South Africa.

“Four out of 10 LGBTI South Africans know of someone who was murdered for being – or suspected of being – part of the LGBTI community‚” said research analyst Gerbrandt van Heerden.

“Black LGBTI people are twice as likely as white LGBTI people to know of someone [who has been] murdered on these grounds – which partially explains why only half of black respondents are completely open about their sexuality‚” Van Heerden said.

However‚ he did have some positive trends to report on‚ including:

- More than two thirds (67%) of South Africans surveyed have indicated that they would strongly like‚ somewhat like‚ or not care about living next to homosexuals.

- Almost 80% of LGBTI people have indicated that they have not experienced any discrimination by a healthcare provider.

- A slight majority of South Africans (51%) agree that the constitution should provide protections for lesbian and gay people‚ compared to 29% who disagree and 16% who neither agree nor disagree.

- Six out of 10 South Africans disagree that being gay‚ lesbian‚ bisexual‚ transgender or intersex should be criminalised.

Van Heerden said education shifted people’s attitudes from prejudice towards tolerance.

“People with a tertiary education in Africa are almost three times as likely to be tolerant towards homosexuals as people who have no formal education‚” he said.

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