Cops Give Tips for Fighting Sexual Assault.
THE Royal Saint Lucia Police Force is reminding men and women in particular to remember that rapists are not always strangers or anonymous attackers.
“When someone you know – a date, steady boyfriend, casual friend or partner – forces you to have sex it is rape,” a statement from the Force noted.
The statement follows another issued last week by the department in which it condemned rape and other sexual assaults on males and females in the country.
“The RSLPF will leave no stone unturned in ensuring the protection and safety of our men and women, by putting measures in place to reduce or prevent such brutal and uncivilized attacks and to bring perpetrators of such crimes to justice,” last week’s statement noted.
However in its weekly crime prevention tips issued by its press department, the police warned persons not to let alcohol or other drugs decrease or interfere with their ability to make sensible decisions and to take care of themselves.
“Do not accept beverages from someone you don’t know and trust and even if it is from someone you know, always watch your drink and never leave it unattended, at any time. Follow your instincts. If a place or the way your date acts makes you nervous or uneasy, get out. If you need to call a friend to escort you home, don’t hesitate to do so. Do a background check on a first date or a blind date with friends or family. Meet in and go to public places. Don’t leave a social event with someone you have just met or don’t know well,” police advised.
Others tips that could lessen the chances of someone being raped, noted the police, include people to making use of technology, meaning sending out details about their date or details about their vehicle to a friend via their smartphone.
“Sending a picture of your date or their vehicle would really assist with investigations if you do become a victim of rape,” the police statement noted.
The statement calls for persons going on dates to ensure that they have enough cash to call a taxi, or, better yet, if they own one to take their own car.
“Don’t accept ride from strangers and if you do accept a ride from anyone, communicate their description and vehicle description to another individual using your phone. When alone at home, always ensure your entry doors are closed and locked. When responding to a knock or call to your door, ensure that the individual is known to you before opening and if you are not sure, call the police,” police further advised, adding that entry doors should be fitted with devices which can allow someone from the inside to see the outside without opening the door (a door scope or peep hole).
The police have gone as far as calling on persons, women in particular to enrol in self-defence classes and for employers to have regular briefings with their female staff concerning safety in travelling to and from work. They are calling on men to know and understand that no means no.
“Crime prevention means being aware of your environment and remaining alert to situations that could make you vulnerable to crime. We cannot list specific measures that will protect you from every threatening situation, which may arise. Instead, we hope to teach you how to think “Crime Prevention” in day-to-day living,” concluded the police statement.
According to section 123 of the Criminal Code of Saint Lucia 2008 any person who has sexual intercourse with another— without the consent of that other; or without believing that the other consents to such intercourse or is reckless as to whether the other person consents or not, commits the offence of rape.