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Mentally Disabled Women Endure Abuse in South Africa

  • Darren Taylor
Mentally disabled women endure intense abuse in many isolated parts of South Africa. Facilities to care for people with conditions such as Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy are scarce. But some mentally disabled women have found shelter and care at a home in the Hobeni district in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. It’s the only facility for hundreds of miles that offers any help to people with mental problems.
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Residents of Ikhaya Loxolo, or "Home of Peace," sing and dance. (VOA / D. Taylor)
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Residents of Ikhaya Loxolo, or "Home of Peace," sing and dance. (VOA / D. Taylor)

The home is run by a highly trained mental health therapist, Alex Gunther [right] and her husband Michael (VOA/ D. Taylor)
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The home is run by a highly trained mental health therapist, Alex Gunther [right] and her husband Michael (VOA/ D. Taylor)

 Lungiswa Xangase suffered intense abuse before she arrived at Ikhaya Loxolo (VOA/ D. Taylor)
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Lungiswa Xangase suffered intense abuse before she arrived at Ikhaya Loxolo (VOA/ D. Taylor)

Lungiswa was burned when she was younger, but she has since overcome her fear of fire and cooking (VOA/ D. Taylor)
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Lungiswa was burned when she was younger, but she has since overcome her fear of fire and cooking (VOA/ D. Taylor)

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