PRESS RELEASE – As Barbadian soca artiste Rupee sang, “Enjoy yourself in de mas cuz you never know it could be your last.” We would like to encourage all carnival enthusiasts and revelers to do just that. Enjoy yourselves.
However, we urge you to take the necessary precautions to ensure that you live to see many more vibrant and fun-filled carnival seasons. We are asking all who are participating in the festivities to please exercise caution and show respect for life.
Another soca hit chants, “Drink your rum. Enjoy yourself!” and we know alcohol consumption is almost a staple in this feting season. We advise you to drink responsibly and know your limit. Alcohol alters behaviours and reduces alertness.
It is known to be a factor in a number of violent incidents such as rape, battery and robbery. Do not return to drinks left unattended and be mindful of who you accept drinks from. A charming individual is not always one who can be trusted.
We must also exercise a great level of respect for ourselves and others. As much as this is the season to let go, any and everything is not permissible in the name of fun. The unauthorized groping of someone’s intimate areas is and will always be sexual harassment.
Carnival and bacchanal is not an invitation to violate anyone’s personal space. As societies evolve sexual diversity is becoming more visible. Irrespective of your personal views everyone has the right to self expression and most importantly as citizens of this country it is every ones right to live their lives free from harm and harassment. We must respect all human life.
Whiles being taken over by the spirit of carnival, please remember you are not entitled to gyrate on anyone. Nobody should have to endure physical or verbal abuse for refusing to dance with you because he or she does not feel comfortable. Everyone’s personal space should be respected. ‘Don’t take it personal’ if someone objects to a grind.
Some relationships tend to get a little tense around this time of year. Papa Vader instructs us however, “Doh raise your hand!” Please be reminded that whiles you and your partner have consented to be committed to each other, neither one owns the other.
Contrary to Hollywood HP you are not your partner’s ‘property’ and he or she is not yours either. If you feel disrespected by your partner’s behavior during this time, solve your issues through effective communication or counselling services. Abuse of any kind is not the answer.
Gather your ‘friends and dem’ as a form of safety to attend all events. Criminals target those who appear vulnerable for all acts of violence. Always arrange proper transportation so once ‘party done’ you can ensure a safe arrival to your residence.
Never walk home alone especially if you are under the influence. A designated driver should be assigned in your group as I am sure you all want to experience another Lucian Carnival.
The Director and staff of the Division of Gender Relations would like to wish you all a safe and enjoyable St. Lucia Carnival 2015. Remember to drink responsibly, respect others and do not go it alone.
This message was brought to you by The Division of Gender Relations. Call our office 453-0557 for support or dial 202 for The Women’s Support Centre or 203 for The National Health Helpline.