COMMENTARY: Rape is not her fault

By Felicia Browne

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Felicia Browne is a gender rights advocate in the Caribbean.

Rape is not the fault of the victim. For many years, women and girls have been held responsible for the actions of their violators.

In some cases, the victims are seen as contributors to the violent acts that they endured at the hands of their perpetrators.

The social stigmatization associated with rape and other forms of violence towards women has left victims with very little choice — either to withdraw their complaints or remain silent about the crime.

Victim blaming should stop if we are to make any progress on the rights of women and girls.

The idea that a victim’s physical appearance or image contributes to her violation only signals a dire need for re-education on human rights.

Gender-based violence against women and girls is a human rights violation. It hinders their progress as citizens and human beings. They have the right to walk free from any form of physical or sexual violation or abuse.

We must continue to speak out on behalf of women and girls, and ensure that their causes are brought to justice. Community members must play their role in protecting women and girls from perpetrators who may live within the same communities.

We need to publicize the fact that there are local services for victims of sexual crimes which will assist them to manage and survive their traumatic experiences, and to do what we can to strengthen them.

The protection of the rights of women and girls should remain our key focus for legal reform and implementation. Human rights like any other rights are important for the social and economic development of our Caribbean societies.

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This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

18 comments

  1. Very good debate. I think that there is merit in both of the arguments. Legislation should be put in place and also women be empowered with the ability to protect them self.
    I don't see anything wrong in asking a lady to be vigilant and have a good level of awareness of surroundings. I am a grown man and i live by these same principles. We have to realize that violence is a part of the world we live in. Whether in St. lucia, the USA or Canada; no country has developed a system to eliminate violence against any gender.

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  2. Here's another way to think about it.....how about teaching your son and daughter that someone else's body is theirs and that you should not invade their personal space if you are not invited. Why does it always have to be the woman's fault for dressing or acting a certain way....what then about the nuns and muslims who get raped by men on the street, is it because they are too reserved?

    For instance in India, this group of men raped this girl and one of them had the audacity to say she shouldn't have put up a fight or be out so late....when it was after 8 in the night.....tell me why as a grown woman I should be in by a certain time and not be allowed to freely roam the street like a man can?

    Stop blaming the victim, stop blaming women. People in St Lucia need to educate themselves and realise that equality in how men and women are treated and respect for the individual should be of importance rather than looking for someone to blame. No is no, be it man, woman child or goat.

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  3. Correction: Name one specie whos objective is not preservation through population?

    Please note that i am not condoning rape because even men and boy are rapped by men. So it must be seen mainly as a mental issue unless we can prove otherwise.

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  4. Sex is not an item on sale and cannot be compared in any form. We have tried to change society and curb the natural insticts of men to conform to this society. It is completely natural for a man to be aroused by certain proclivities of a woman. Men have varying toleration levels. What migh be the breaking point for me may not be for another. This is connected with our mental tolerance too, certain phsycological pressures can make people crack. What might get me mad or angry might not be at the level to get you angy or mad. It a point that women should understand.

    Mens body and physic are configured differently to women. Whereas women are more reserved men are always ready. Why do you think that no offence of rape is created when a woman is the aggressor? Thats because the man is and always will be the instigator. Thats why women also have cycles and men don't cause thay should always be ready to populate the earth. Modern society has change sex into a pleasure rather than the necessity it one was to populate the earth. Name one specie whos main objective is for preservation through population?

    As such if a woman attire is to provoke, don't you think that some day she may come into contact with a man whose toleration level may be over-powered? It may be that the man level borders on being a mental case but the likelyhood of an incedence of rape occuring may be real. I am in no way suggesing that it is right but women should know that with every right comes equal responsibility to take care of yourselves and your neighbours which includes men.

    I am afraid rape has been around from Adams and it will be untill the end of mankind or when a program is designed to control everybody's mind. A civilized world therefore requires proper structures for mind evaluation and treatment and an equally responsible behavior on the part of our women

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  5. u know i sat down and i thought about this and alot of people wont like my comment because i am trying to think outside of the box here. if a person dresses half naked so to speak that should not give no person no right to make assumptions that this person is available and rape them but as a woman no matter how you dress be it naked or modestly you still need to be careful but for the women that dress half naked in some sort of way even if they are not saying it verbally the action speaks louder than words and that action triggers those sick men out there to do this indecent act to women cause when you dress the way you dress belive it or not men get tempted and some of those sick men go beyond their temptation which is not right so in other words in this day and age you have a house that is full of your belongings you work for and are expensive ,if you leave the house open or unguarded its obvious that you will get robbed and are actually inviting the thieves to steal your belongings cause the house is unguarded although it gives the thief no right to steal your things and its your house and you do what you want with it. so all in all all women should be careful and be on their guard cause even if you dress naked you will get raped if you are fully clothed you can still get raped so just be careful and vigilant out there. and to the sick men please stop this and get help if you need to

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  6. I strongly agree. Most times its not the peoples fault though, its just mere ignorance, both n the matter and that they don't know better.

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  7. How about them running in the street naked and they breast out and they calling rape

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  8. Well said.

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  9. How about them running naked in the street showing haif they breast they for rape

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  10. Women need to learn self defense and keep these eye irritants like mace on hand ready to blind their attackers.

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  11. very well said. St. Lucians (especially men) need a major reeducation on gender based violence against women. No matter what a woman says, the way she dresses or the way she carries herself that justifies any form of violation or violence against her.

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  12. so what about the young boys that are being raped

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  13. Absolutely Disgusted

    To all who have been violated I say that it is not your fault, it never was and will never be. You are wonderfully made and blessed by your creator. The fact that there are things out there that will violate you for any reason, only goes to show their impotent thinking, lack of self worth and need to gain control on persons who ordinarily they could not. I have had very very close family and friends who have had to go through this ordea, and yes at least one death...I feel and know the hurt and now a father remain committed to give assistance to any one i could who has gone through this hell. Again I pray that you tell your story, do not fear them for that is their main weapon and get help fast, Ensure you learn what to do in the event it happens to you or any one in your family circle or friends. LET US ALL DO SOMETHING NOW TO STOP THE RAPE AND THE HATE....

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  14. Agreed. Although modesty is preferred, just because a woman dresses or looks a certain way does not give anyone the right to violate her. She is not "asking for it". ANY form of violation be it physical or sexual is just plain wrong.

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    • females should understand we dont live in a perfect world, all the men who walk the streets are not all men of GOD, they have to learn to take more care of theirself and hold their morale to a higher standard, they will be thieves, rapist, murderers out there everytime you walk the streets, carry yourselves in a respectful manner hence not to raise the devil in anyone, clothe yourself properly so you can be respected when you walk the streets, no man will look at you as a mere sex object, toy, or free pass,,,remember they are not all men of god out there, females need to learn that, people do get tempted and will continue to be tempted it's human nature, some are weaker than others so the most is to try ur utmost best to not to attract attention of those succeptible to the devil teachings, certain things are just not made for public, respect yourselves ladies, it's your life to take control of no one can help you but yourself, do whatever you can cuz just like GOD is the Devil is also always watching.....cheers

      change urself so u can change the world....

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