The term ‘corrective rape’ was coined in South Africa to denote rape where victims are targeted because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity to convert them to being heterosexual.
There are no formal statistics available on corrective rape which campaigners believe is reported less frequently than other forms of sexual assault in India because of the frequent involvement of family members. One group called LGBT Collective in Telangana has recorded 15 corrective rapes there in the last five years, but say they are sure there are many more unreported cases. Cousins are often chosen by families to carry out the assault which may be followed by forced marriage.
Homosexuality is taboo in many parts of India and legal rights for LGBT people regressed in 2013 when the Supreme Court reinstated a Victorian law dating back to the British Empire criminalising gay sex. The section in the Indian Penal Code bans ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal’.
The offence is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, although no convictions have been recorded in recent years.