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Mentally Ill Girls at Risk of Rape in South Africa

  • Darren Taylor
In a district in South Africa's impoverished Eastern Cape province, health care workers report that hardly anyone is ever arrested for raping the mentally disabled. But now a home in the region is sheltering some of these women and girls. The compound of mud huts is known as “Home of Peace.” It’s the only facility for hundreds of miles in this mountainous part of South Africa that rehabilitates people with mental disabilities.
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In Hobeni, like in other parts of South Africa, criminals target disabled women and girls for rape (VOA/Taylor)
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In Hobeni, like in other parts of South Africa, criminals target disabled women and girls for rape (VOA/Taylor)

One of Ikhaya Loxolo’s female residents feeds chickens in the home’s dining hall (VOA/Taylor)
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One of Ikhaya Loxolo’s female residents feeds chickens in the home’s dining hall (VOA/Taylor)

The Xhosa chief of Hobeni, Patrick Fudumele, is doing his best to protect the area’s mentally disabled women and girls from sexual abuse (VOA/Taylor)
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The Xhosa chief of Hobeni, Patrick Fudumele, is doing his best to protect the area’s mentally disabled women and girls from sexual abuse (VOA/Taylor)

The home’s residents are particularly fond of Alex’s husband, Michael, who manages Ikhaya Loxolo’s farm (VOA/Taylor)
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The home’s residents are particularly fond of Alex’s husband, Michael, who manages Ikhaya Loxolo’s farm (VOA/Taylor)

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