South African Rapists Taught to 'Castrate the Act'

Lack of parenting, understanding of rape cause country's 'silent epidemic'
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2009 5:11 PM CDT
The South African court has sentenced a man to life imprisonment for multiple counts of rape and holding two girls captive in an underground pit for 15 months.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Blasé police, indifferent parents, and a misogynistic culture all conspire to plague South Africa with rape cases, but a few programs are trying to make a difference, NPR reports. Instead of serving prison time, many juvenile offenders are being taught more appropriate responses to women. "You don't want them to castrate their own penis," says a social worker. "You want them to castrate the act."

At a clinic round-table, some offenders admit their ignorance. “I didn’t know I was going to get AIDS,” said one teen who raped his cousin. “I didn't know it was rape.” One judge blames parental AIDS-related deaths for their lack of education. The social worker  encourages young men to "take a sense of responsibility," but there isn't much stick to go with his carrot: Only one in 25 men accused of rape in Africa is ever convicted.