HOW many have fallen victim to various incidents of sexual violence and had nothing done about it? The correct and sad answer, is that too many have never gotten any sort of justice. Too many have gotten no support or validation and too many have been blamed for the crimes committed against them. One would like to hope that with time things would change, that we would become more educated and understanding, that we would see perpetrators of sexual violence as criminals and not individuals who lack self control and are tricked into committing crimes.
How do we look at a 2, 5, 9, 12 year old and say they brought this on themselves? How do we look at any individual for that matter and suggest that their sexual assault was because they danced too provocatively, dressed too scantily, flirted too intensely, kissed too passionately, accepted dinner, accepted a promotion, asked for extra help in a class etc? How do we insinuate that any individual seduced their rapist, enticed him/her beyond their control?? How do we justify the actions of the perpetrator and damn the victim?
Why is more not being done to address sexual violence- child sexual abuse, marital rape, sexual harassment, rape, incest, etc.? What will it take for us to admit and accept that we have a problem with sexual violence in St. Lucia?. What will it take for us to begin to address it more seriously? Why do we not have specific training for counsellors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, police officers and judges so that they are able to deal with these cases in a manner that does not re-victimize the victim? Why are our children not taught more about their rights, more about what incest and child sexual abuse are? Why do our children feel afraid to speak to us about the crimes being committed against them? I’ll answer that, though you may not like my answer: it is because your comments tell them that you will blame them, that you will do nothing, that everything their abuser told them will happen; Mommy and Daddy will not care, they will do nothing, they will be upset.
We have become passive. We sit back and wait for things to change instead of being part of the change. Sexual violence doesn’t only affect the person who was attacked, it affects us all these individuals grow up to be broken in many ways and that affects everyone. We say that the children are our future but we are not investing in them, not fully. Material things come and go, their pain and suffering remain and grow. Invest in their psychological and physical well-being. We wonder why so many are bullied, why so many are committing suicide, why so many are addicted to drugs and alcohol. They are screaming out that they are in pain, they are asking for help and receiving nothing.
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