Gender rights advocate wants stiffer penalties for sex offenders

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Gender rights advocate wants stiffer penalties for sex offenders
Felicia Browne
Felicia Browne.
Felicia Browne.

Human and Gender Rights advocate Felicia Browne has said that the recent report on the increase in sexual offences in Saint Lucia needs to be evaluated.

According to her, an increase of 11 cases not only signals the fact that sexual violations are being under-reported in St.Lucia because many victims are still afraid to file reports due to the fear of being stigmatized, or even being held responsible for the sexual violation.

Browne is adamant that the time has come for women to take the lead and ensure that rape, in particular gang-rape, carries similar penalties to offences like murder.

“Violence against women has too often been seen as a minor offence in which the victim is usually blamed as much if not more than the perpetrator,” she added.

Browne said though she agrees that stricter laws should be implemented, she is adamant that additional laws on their own will not provide victims with the protection that is needed.

She went on to state that “raping a woman and in some cases a male, is a life sentence. The victim has to live with those psychological and physical traumas for the rest of her/his life.”

“I believe that it is time that women and girls take the lead and demand that stricter penalties be implemented but also psychiatric evaluations for perpetrators who may suffer with sexual aggression and imbalances,” she remarked.

The regional gender rights advocate also believes that some perpetrators are sexual predators and should be treated for their illnesses; while others without mental disorders should serve longer imprisonment terms- including a life sentence.

Browne maintains that effective legislations which include psychiatric evaluation and treatment for sexual offences have had significant outcomes for public safety.

Although treatment does not eliminate sexual crime, research supports the view that treatment can decrease sex offenses and protect potential victims.

Studies have also shown that in the minority of sex offenders who are mentally ill, adequate treatment of the underlying mental illness may in some cases be sufficient to reduce the risk of further sex offending.

However, in other cases the patient’s abnormal sexual fantasy life may be independent of psychosis and require additional treatment, Browne noted.

There has been a marked growth in recent years in cognitive–behavioural treatment of sex offenders.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. this rape thing is very despicable and should those who do this should be punished to the fullest extent of the law... however we must catch and prosecute them first them, where is the investment in crime fighting? you see the minister of health on the tv crying for women who are raped yet she sits in a cabinet which refuses to sufficiently fund the police and the judicial system. the rape cases is only a symptom of the lawlessness we suffer in this country, criminals know they are unlikely to be caught and even if they are, they will spend so much time on remand that by the time the case goes to court the witnesses and even the victim done forget what happened. so that criminal has to be dropped because of some technicality. this is nonsense.... I also blame women for not minding their business and protecting their interests , too many of them don't care about what is happening in their country and politics instead they focus on the trivial, wake up and demand better from your politicians, make them know that they will be held accountable for not doing what has to be done. So their anger should be directed as well to people like Alvina, who has sat there for 4 yrs while women are being raped, women and their children are being killed in the hospital and she is doing nothing about it.

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  2. Good comments but I want to draw Mr.s Browne's attention to one fact or correction if I may say. Murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or death in certain cases. It is now well known that following the Privy Council case of Pratt and Morgan, the possibility of the death penalty is now no more than it is, writings in a book. For the benefit of Ms Browne and others the offence of rape is created by section 123 of the Criminal Code of St Lucia 2004. The maximum penalty for that offence is also life imprisonment. However it must be admitted that it is in the most extreme cases that the maximum is imposed. The starting point for rape is usually 8 years imprisonment. In my view stiffer penalties are no more than a plaster or a deep cut. The solution is not in the penalty but in changing the mindset of our society. It is cannot be a change in the mindset of men; it requires a holistic approach. It requires that we educate and inform our children from a young age, it requires that we move away from treating each other as possessions. The fact remains that we have some sick men out there. But the time has come for our women and young girls to play a greater role in their safety. It requires them to be more cognizant of their surroundings, their postings on Facebook and twitter, their interaction with complete strangers. However on the last point regarding strangers, statistics show that most rapes are done by persons known to the victims. Just saying.

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  3. Yall cah even find them..is stiffer penalties...focus on better crime solving skills first...as I've always said...all Lucians and their prints/DNA shud be in a database...if not rape kits are useless especially if the victim is unable to identify the SOB. And eh tell me this is a privacy issue customers Yall give it willingly wen entering the US....they treat Yall as criminals flat out... 🙂

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  4. I agree with all of you who are speaking out agaist this horrible crime. But thats just talk sorry to say. As soon as something happens all crabs coming from holes to share their bright ideas and those ideas never materialise. So get out of my face all of u!!

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  5. Please, please pretty please stop talking and let's take action. That shit will get worse before it gets better. I honestly not wishing bad on no one but unless it does not hit our front door everybody will sit and blame the victims for the way they dress or look.

    We StLucia needs to stand up and hold those in authority accountable for the wrong doings. Too often we hear sweet talk and sweet mouth leaders and the negative repeats it's self. The leadership of Gov, Private Businesses to have ran out of ideas. Speed bumps to avoid accidents, shallow thinking.

    No jobs but you expect the youths to sit on their hands and bite their tongue. Tourism and very little of the tourism stay in StLucia.

    Now rape the new trend

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