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S. Africans March to Protest Surge in Rapes of Baby Girls

November 26, 2001|From Reuters

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Thousands of South African men, horrified by an apparent surge in rapes of baby girls, joined women and children in a protest march in Cape Town on Sunday.

This crime-weary nation was still reeling from the alleged rape of a 9-month-old girl by six men earlier this month when it was shocked by reports this weekend of the rape of an 8-month-old girl.

Sunday's march was to launch a campaign backed by the government to raise awareness of abuse of women and children. South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world.

Patricia de Lille, a member of Parliament, said the recent rapes of infant girls were almost certainly linked to the myth that sex with a virgin can cure AIDS.

About 21,000 cases of child rape were reported in the last year in South Africa.

The 8-month-old baby was attacked Friday after she was allegedly abducted from her home. She was found lying on the roadside by a passerby.

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