The Carnival season is upon us once again. This is the time of year when enthusiasts and revelers release their tensions through the enjoyment of highly anticipated shows, theme parties and concerts and not forgetting the two day parade with all its costumes of splendor and glamour. Despite the intention of the season to bring pure delight to all who revel in it, it is one of those times of the year that we as a people need to be very vigilant.
A common refrain is, “I have to take a few shots to loosen up and enjoy myself!” However, it is important to note that alcohol consumption is known to reduce inhibitions. It may lead to behaviours that one would otherwise not be engaged in. We therefore urge the public to be mindful of their alcohol intake.
When intoxicated or under the influence of illicit drugs an individual may not be fully aware of his or her surroundings. This lack of awareness increases one’s vulnerability leading to cases of rape, robbery and battery. Also, be careful who you accept drinks from. Charm ought not to be confused with trustworthiness. Know your limit and stick to it.
Carnival is seen as an event that unites people from all walks of life for the purpose of pure, unrestricted bacchanalia. However, some tend to interpret this unrestricted bacchanalia to mean that anything goes and whatever they decide to do to others in the name of fun should be accepted and expected. The unauthorized groping of someone’s intimate areas is and will always be sexual harassment.
Carnival and bacchanal is not an invitation to violate anyone’s personal space. The only body you are free to grope as you please is your own and even that is inappropriate public display.
Another misconception about unrestricted bacchanalia is that nobody should object to anyone ‘teefing a whine’. This false sense of entitlement has led to men being disrespectful, verbally and physically, to women and vice versa. Again, you are urged to respect the personal space of others. Dance with whoever is willing to dance with you and you should not take it personal if an individual objects. As the saying goes, ‘all bread has its cheese.’ Find the cheese that is best suited to your bread and enjoy yourself.
Domestic violence including intimate partner abuse tends to increase during any festive season. If you are in a relationship, you and your partner should have a discussion to agree upon what you consider acceptable conduct within the confines of your relationship. Keep in mind though relationships are about mutual respect and not possessiveness.
You may disagree, but you have absolutely no right to assault or physically, emotionally or sexually abuse anyone. Your partner is his or her own person and not your property to control.
Also, do your best to attend events with a group of friends. Being alone makes you an easy target for all acts of violence. Arrange proper transportation to make it home safely. If you plan to walk home, do not do so alone, especially if you are intoxicated. Amongst your friends, assign someone the duty of designated driver so that you might all live to see another Lucian Carnival.