November 3, 2006

How many more must suffer?

The Sunset Legislation has been passed despite documented concerns about the working of the mechanics of the legislation. There are local privacy rights that may be trampled as the Cricket World Cup 2007 protects its marketing rights. But of course St Vincent and the Grenadines must certainly walk in line with the bright sunrise of the World Cup expectancy that has gripped the entire region.

Sometimes laws are rushed through Parliament like a speeding bullet despite opposition in many quarters, all in the interest of fulfilling Government’s mandate.{{more}}

So pray tell, can anybody explain why is it that we live in a society where in the ‘University of Village Corners’ many heart-wrenching stories of incest, rapes, and sexual abuse of minors can be expatiated with ultimate ease while the latest police report says that up to September 2006 there have only been six reported cases of incest?

Is it that there isn’t a problem? Should we shout hallelujah that we live in a society that protects its children? Or should we hide our faces with shame because we have for a long time turned a blind eye to the reality that have slapped us in the face time and time again?

Just refer to Dr Bharati Datta’s revelation in this newspaper (June 6, 2006) that an older man or a relative impregnated 90 per cent of teenage mothers that gave birth at the hospital. She has been there for 23 years, she knows, she sees!

Her story of a mother who would command her 13 year old daughter to have sex with her boyfriend and a cry for urgent legislative amendments by Family Court President, Colleen McDonald, have fallen on deaf ears.

Magistrate McDonald was concerned that the sexual abuse cases were settled out of court and the abused children are forced to move on; their abusers allowed to live as “normal” members of society and not made to pay for their despicable acts.

What steps have been taken to protect our children? What use is an education revolution when our children’s innocence are ripped asunder? When it is either sold for a couple hundred bucks or totally disregarded because of the insecurity of a mother who can’t face the reality that her man is a “sicko”?

This year our lawmakers have dealt with tax systems, cricket marketing rights, commodities and produce, and great minds were summoned to review the constitution. Wonderful! But somehow we can’t find a way to prosecute a child molester because families try to “settle the things” out of court.

The police lament the increase of violence in schools, teachers speak about indiscipline. How many of our children carry heavy emotional loads? How many are hurt beyond repair? More importantly, what are we going to do about it?

Would it be said that St Vincent and the Grenadines care more about tax systems, and cricket than its children?