Flood-Beaubrun calls for ‘zero tolerance’ on sexual abuse of minors

By Samuel Sukhnandan, Staff Journalist

 Share This On:

Former Health and Human Services Minister Sarah Flood Beaubrun.

Former Health and Human Services Minister Sarah Flood Beaubrun.

News about an 11-year-old girl from Micoud being five months pregnant has raised many eyebrows and started a nationwide debate about who is at fault.

But former Health, Human Services, Family Affairs and Gender Relations Minister, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, believes that the root of the problem lies in sexual abuse of minors on Saint Lucia and calls for a ‘zero tolerance’ approach towards the issue.

Flood-Beaubrun said a very serious crime has been committed and the full weight of the law must be brought to bear on the perpetrator, and the child should receive the care she needs.

The former minister noted this case highlights more glaringly that there have been too many cases of rape and sexual abuse of children and adults being committed here.

She said sexual abuse of minors is prevalent, and it is important to deal with this case, but asserted that it is also important to deal with the cases that are not brought to light.

Zero tolerance

“There has to be zero tolerance and it must mean zero tolerance. The age of consent is 16, and there are so many cases that we know of where children: 14, 15, 13 are impregnated and it is not dealt with as a criminal offense and these cases never see the light of day. This needs to be addressed as well. It has to be made clear that that is the standard that society has set and we will accept nothing less.”

While some persons have already criticized the mother, blaming her for not recognizing that her child was pregnant, the former Human Services Minister said while parents would like to be around their children all the time, it is sometimes physically impossible.

“I don’t think we could necessarily blame a parent, but as adults, it is our responsibility to look after children whether or not it is your child. Every adult, needs to recognize that children are vulnerable and have to be protected. The state have to ensure also that if children are not protected, it has its wheels well-oiled, so it can step in and help children and the whole society must know, so people will understand that there are consequences if children are violated and these consequences are harsh.”

Highly sexualised society

But while Flood-Beaubrun stressed the need for society to play its part by ensuring that children are protected, she noted Saint Lucia is a “highly sexualized” society.

“Let’s be honest about it, sex is everywhere. Children are sexualized in the way they dress. We have to talk about it. And parents must take responsibility for that,” she stated.

Some parents, she said, dress their girl children in an inappropriate manner. And mothers in particular must instill the values of “modesty in their children, both boys and girls.”

“I am not suggesting that anyone has a right to violate anyone, because of how that person is dressed. Certainly a child should never be looked at in a seductive manner by anybody. Anyone who does that is sick and not only need to be put behind bars, but need psychological help.”

However, Flood-Beaubrun is of the view that this is a factor that leads to some of the sexual abuse, rape and sexual violence that continues to plague society.

She said, “Sex is the order of the day, where it is sold, promoted, used in advertisement. And women are seen as sex objects and that needs to change. Unless we as a society recognize that it is a problem, and we take ownership of it, we will have women being treated as sex objects.”

Flood-Beaubrun recognized that the Human Services Department has been understaffed and has been operating with limited resources for a number of years, but stressed that government must not sit by idly and allow more of these cases to fester, before something is done to address the shortfalls within that Department.

“Human Services needs to be staffed and resourced, so they can deal with these cases not only as a crisis management approach, but we can identify children who are at risk and interventions can be made before the situation reaches a crisis….A lot of these cases we can foresee the children at risk, and nothing is done or nothing can be done because of a lack of resources. So there is an issue to be addressed here, in terms of providing adequate resources,” she added.

(14)(0)
Copyright 2019 St. Lucia News Online. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

18 comments

  1. Seriously?? How long was she the minister of gender relations? Sarah barely had a chance to do anything in capacity as a minister because she got fired for opposing the government on an abortion bill. But enough of that. Sarah has made a very valid point. Gone are the days when the community raised a child. So many teenage pregnancy and child sexual abuse cases are being swept under the carpet like dust. It's about high time our society takes action.

    (5)(1)
  2. She try to do alot that's why Kenny let her go

    (5)(2)
  3. the mother,the mother,the mother....why so many people blaming the mother not to take care of the daughter. Whats about the father of the girl, has he no responsibility and is guilty same way???? If the mother do/can not take care of the child why he not taking the daughter and take care of????
    Its high time to make the fathers same responsible like the mothers.

    (7)(2)
  4. Keep your culture!!

    Well said but this matters have to be dealt with shock therapy as I read this article it angers me seeing how the system have failed the children !

    we the adults are the biggest enemy of the children!we accept to many evils in our midst we don't stand up for human rights especially when it comes to protecting the children our minds is consumed with bad mind and politics we know the dangers yet we ignore them and wait for them to disappear or some politician to bring us salvation we the adult have proven ourselves to be the biggest hypocrites we see things and yet with our bad mind we allow them to happen

    I can guarantee you that this guy allegedly did not only have sex with this girl only one time to make her pregnant.

    in st Lucia we mind everyone business who's going out and who's coming in regardless of the time of day yet still no one saw this abomination in their eyes come on let's talk to one another when we see something and its not right then chances are that it's not right and

    we should talk let the parents know let the police know let the boy know let the priest know, tell someone so our children don't have to suffer we can do it but first we must throw away our bad mind and open our hearts and let it lead the way it takes a village to raise a child!

    (1)(0)
  5. All of you people a steam blowers.....when a issue pop's it's ugly head you'll so call public figures come out with articles and go on talk shows and that just where it starts and ends. None of you are passionate about anything, all you do is try to put an image out there as to look intelligent, humble and caring but that's just it, a show. I'll only believe any of you truly care when you start fighting to change our out dated constitution and broken judicial system. That's the only thing that will change the mess that st.lucia is in right now...
    And for you who don't believe me, see how far she goes with this....pretty soon she'll grow silent.

    (5)(0)
  6. Very well articulated Sarah. All adults in the society plus government has a responsibility to ensure the protection of children. This must be understood first by parents who must instruct their children accordingly. Therefore if I see a child in a situation that is inappropriate , I can step in know that the parents and I are on the same page.
    Many times when one try to correct a child or defuse such a situation (as the current case) the parent based on what the child says to him/her without finding the other side of the story, would say leave my child/children alone.
    We need to go back to the days of better relationships within a society with a society raising a child. Government need to create such an enabling environment.

    (4)(0)
  7. It's all due to poverty, which ever way you look at it.
    Let these politicians find ways and means to provide
    opportunities for poor communities, schools should report
    to some authority when children show signs of unusual behavior
    socially, so parents could(if any) could do something. - Disgraceful.

    (1)(0)
  8. Very well said Sarah. It is sad though that alot of our females feel that to look beautiful they need to expose as much skin as possible. Sad situation with this 11 year old. A baby raising a baby.

    (8)(1)
  9. one thing i dont get they say that the age of consent is 16 years right, anything below that the land calls it rape, so what if i am 17 or 18 years and i am a male right, and i had sex say with my girlfriend that is fifteen or any random girl of that age for that matter

    , i didnt force her she said yes and agreed to have sex with me and parents find out and the law gets involved why is it that me as the male has to get the full force of the law when it takes TWO people not just one but two people male and female to have sex, its not like a situation i put a gun to her head or tied the person up and fought with her to demand and have sex which is really what rape is forcing someone against their will to have sex with you ,

    i believe depending on the situation how the act was carried about that the female should also get some flack also because she had sex with me under the age given law, if you know that you are having sex with a under age person you need to dont do it same way if the person that is underage knows they are underage to have sex they to should not have sex (but then again how to do fine someone who is underage) because they know they under age in most cases they should also penalize her for saying yes to having sex with me when she is not of age to have sex at all.as to how they going to i dont know since the type of laws hinders how you go about prosecuting someone who is not an adult.

    am going to give another situation what if in this situation maybe the same age difference or greater and you catch the two people in the act and the girl is on the top position and she is enjoying it just like the guy , she giving herself more action, would you still call this rape because of the age restriction? cause to me no woman that is forced against her will to have sex would be enjoying the sex for that matter

    just thought i would share this comparison and question so what do you guys think? (and just to say, i am not taking sides here am just asking a question and laying out a situation i know most of you like to bash people before thinking and reading properly)

    (2)(20)
    • I notice you got some down arrows.
      But some of us refuse to face the facts.
      We now very well that a15 year old can reason and know they can say no to sex. That same 15 year we expect not to commit murder and expect to know better.
      I think the more we shield behind the age of consent argument in some circumstances like the 15 and 18 year old scenario you alluded to, I think they more we are doing harm.
      All situations are different, but i strongly believe that where possible the girls say like the 15 year old in your example should be held responsible too.
      I remember when I was growing up, on many occasions I use to hear the adults say that the parents know what the child was doing (during that time it was common for schoolgirls to be with bus drivers), but they running and cry rape to try and shield the girls and their reputations.

      I will also tell you that many many years ago, someone once told me that when he lends out his text book to a child during a class, when he goes back to the staff room, there were notes in there with all the sexual positions they could have him in.
      We know the stories well. Some of us just choose to go with the more popular stance.

      (0)(0)
      • well that not a problem cause most of us fail or dont want want to hear the facts as you stated so they will always give down arrows but at least you see my point

        (0)(0)
    • g.w. no matter how many scenarios you look at, it boils back to the same thing.

      The age of consent is 16 for females!

      If a 15 yr old girl and a 18 yr old man are caught having consensual sex. The man is still breaking the law and can be prosecuted.

      Another scenario if a 15 yrs old girl and 50 year old man are caught having consensual sex. The man is still breaking the law and can be prosecuted.

      moral of my above scenrios with or with out consent if the female is under 16 it's against the law.

      With out consent its Rape
      With consent its Carnal Knowledge

      Were you really being serious with your second "situation"! If so damn.

      (1)(0)
      • that is not the point i was making anon1, the point i was trying to make is that if the male is to be charged then the female also needs to be charged in the age of 15 in my example cause she also out to know that since she is underage she is not suppose to be having sex with no one and the same way some one who is 18 know the girl is underage he not suppose to be having sex with her either, so in other words both of them no they not suppose to be having sex at all

        (0)(0)
    • g.w. please take the humble advice I offered you a few weeks ago. The use of Google and or Wikipedia can help you immensely. Rather than you coming on here to ask questions or make comments that actually makes you look a little silly (no disrespect)

      Please find a truncated meaning of the term Cranal Knowledge from Wikipedia:

      Carnal knowledge has also sometimes meant sexual intercourse outside of marriage, and sometimes refers to sex with someone under the age of consent. The phrase is often found in this sense in modern legal usage, being equivalent to statutory rape in some jurisdictions, as the term rape implies lack of consent.

      A related term is carnal abuse, which is defined by Dictionary.com as "any lascivious contact with the sexual organs of a child by an adult". Usually, but not always, this does not involve penetration.[

      (1)(0)
  10. Very well articulated.

    (0)(2)
  11. For how much longer must we start and restart this national debate. Please stop thee political games. When you Sarah, was in the seat that gave you the opportunity to take meaningful action, what did you do? What do you have to show for you tenure in office as the former Minister with responsibility for Human Services?

    (5)(21)
    • Maybe she did set the groundwork for it to be continued, but even if so, does that nullify a comment? Let us not politicize this , this is a human care issue, please don't bring politics in there... please please please.

      (0)(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.