PRESS RELEASE – IN Saint Lucia, women and girls continue to be subjected to violence, such as domestic violence, murder, rape, sexual abuse, social media pornography abuse, etc. At no time did women hear a strong statement or position from female parliamentarians and heads of public sector agencies mandated to be lead advocates on women’s issues.
While it is assumed that women’s presence in parliament and other public sector agencies will automatically lead to the production of policies and legislation that will transform the lives of women, this is not so. Women parliamentarians become agents of political parties which exert powerful restraining influence on the possibility for setting the policy or legislative agenda to benefit women and girls and public sector agency managers also become masters of self and job preservation, to women’s detriment.
Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc. is deeply disappointed that after more than twelve 12 years, the OECS Family Law Bills designed to provide protection to women and children are still in consultation stage with no set date for implementation and no lead voice in parliament, while women and girls continue to endure extreme forms of violence.
Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc. calls on the Government of Saint Lucia, specifically the Prime Minister, Attorney General, Hon. Sarah FloodBeaubrun, Hon. Gale T.C. Rigobert, Hon. Mary Isaac and Hon. Fortuna Belrose to move with alacrity to ensure a legislative agenda to minimize persistent cases of violence against women and girls in St. Lucia, specifically the new trend of videotaping women and girls during sexual abuse and rape then uploading to social media.
Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc. further calls on the Minister for National Security, Hon. Hermangild Francis, to provide the Sexual Assault Response Team and the Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPU) within the Royal St. Lucia Police Force the necessary resources to mitigate and investigate crimes against women and girls.