Our Readers' Opinions
February 3, 2017
Let’s gets serious and put a stop to these rapes in SVG

Editor: I am writing this letter to appeal to the higher moral conscience of my fellow Vincentians, from the perspective of someone who has been personally aggrieved twice recently by the violent rapes of two of my young female relatives at the tender age of 14 years old, in the past three weeks – two weeks apart.

One of these rapes was so violent that the young girl was knocked unconscious, almost lost her eye, and was also stabbed in the hand. The thing that bothers me is that these rapes were not committed by young boys, but by big grown men who could be these girls’ fathers. Men who should know better and should be teaching young boys and young men the etiquette of how to treat young girls and women in our society.

I am saddened to say this is not new to St Vincent and the Grenadines, because as a young girl myself, I escaped three rape attempts on my person at the age of 13 and 14 years old. One attempt was by a teacher in the primary school that I attended. This kind of perverted behaviour is nothing new, but it has gone on for too long and should stop now. The silence is deafening. These behaviours are unacceptable. If you were to do a survey on young girls who were raped by an adult, or even know someone who was raped, you will be surprised at the astronomical number of victims in the nation. It has reached pandemic stage.

I would like to ask these men three simple questions:

“What is the gratification as a big man to commit forceful sexual assault on these young girls and women?”

“What would you have done if these girls were your daughters, sisters, or even your nieces?”

“Do you know what the trauma of being raped does to a person, physically and psychologically?”

I hope these young girls, and all other young victims of rape are given some form of therapy, so they would not be traumatized for the rest of their lives.

Some years ago, I read an article that stated St Vincent was an unsafe country for women. Such an indictment should have been a wake-up call, a national call to action by the police, the clergy, and all schools, but most of all by parents. It is not too late to reverse this negative and disturbing trend.

I hope these pedophiles are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Castration should be seriously considered as a deterrent. I would also like to call on the Government to implement a registry for sex offenders, so that everyone will know who these violent criminals are and where they live.

Last, but not least, parents, let’s get our children, young boys and girls back into Sunday school; talk to your sons about love and respect for women. The process should begin at home, and start now. Let’s begin a national dialogue and all work towards ending such violence; ignoring it will not make it go away.

What are the churches and ministers doing to help stop this heinous behaviour? It is time for Vincentians to stand up against the wrong that has plagued our country for way too long.

Annie K