Bipartisanship has been in short supply in Saint Lucia for a number of years. In fact, there have been very few issues that have attracted accord across the current and previous governments.
However, calls are now being made to take a bi-partisan approach towards responding to sexual offences, child abuse and domestic violence, something that is increasingly getting out of hand.
Opposition Leader Dr. Gale Rigobert, who made this call said Saint Lucia needs to be resolute in interventions to address these issues, because it could escalate into something much bigger.
Rigobert believes that the issue could only be addressed if regional organizations, NGOs, women’s groups, social welfare agencies and both sides of the political divide work closely together.
The Micoud North MP said together they must find the root causes of these issues, promising not to rest until certain mechanisms are put in place to empower the “marginalized and the vulnerable.”
Joining her is another female politician, Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte who said she too is deeply concerned about the increase incidence of rape and sexual violence against women.
Hippolyte said while women must always be on their guard, she said they should not have to live in a situation in which they always have to look over their shoulders.
The Gros Islet MP said all forms of violence must not be condoned and agrees that the country needs to sit and determine how the matter should be addressed.
“It is causing a lot of anger, a lot of pain and destroying the lives of persons,” Hippolyte added.
The police said almost 60 cases of rape have been reported since the start of the year.
There have also been a number of reported cases of domestic violence.