PRESS RELEASE – Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, Hon. Alvina Reynolds has strongly condemned the recent reported gang rape of two young females in an apartment in Rodney Bay. She also referenced the disturbing increase in the number of reported rape cases on island.
“I want to send a strong message out to the men of this country, that enough is enough, that there must be respect for women, there must be that sense of wanting to protect women. We are equal partners in this country and one group cannot be seen as being disrespected and violated again and again.” Reynolds asserted.
The Gender Affairs Minister added that this latest rape incident provides an opportunity for broad public discussion on how women can protect themselves.
“How can we as women fight back in the sense of protection, pepper spray, mace the conversation must begin. This is the time because we have spoken we have done lots of sessions to sensitize men on their role in terms of working along with women and respecting women but that seems to fall on some death ears. Something else has to happen at this point in time. So amidst the talking there must be action and this is what I am laying on the table today. It is time that we look at and as a Cabinet we will begin to have that discussion for pepper spray and mace and for women to begin to arm themselves with something.” Reynolds said.
She said to have the police everywhere that women are is impossible hence the reason to look at the situation of prevention as opposed to responding after an incident has occurred.
“One, we as women need to be more self aware more vigilant as to what’s happening in our immediate surroundings and secondly, when we are aware how do we protect ourselves? The conversation must start. I am laying this out today that women need to have something more than policing to protect us in this country because it certainly tells me that some people are not hearing. We do have to step up in-terms of responding to women who are becoming victims of rape in this country.” The Health Minister asserted.