We believe sexual violence is a crime against the inherent worth and dignity of the individual. Also sexual violence is a serious violation against the human rights of the individual considering the pervasive and devastating impact of this horrendous act.
The Saint Lucia Association of Social Workers is deeply concerned about all cases of rape and in particular the increase in reported cases of sexual violence. An examination of recent cases suggests that women of all ages and backgrounds are victims of rape with children and the elderly being no exception. Thus, the Association calls for immediate and persistent action which minimizes the occurrence of all forms of sexual violence.
The Association is of the view that the issue of rape and sexual violence should be addressed from a holistic perspective. Reported cases should be investigated using the necessary forensic technologies and law enforcement competence needed to realize quick and successful prosecutions. Furthermore, such cases should be investigated by police officers who are sensitive to the immediate impact rape has on the victim.
Justice for the victims should include the implementation of measures that deal with the eclectic impact sexual violence has on the victim. For example, victims should be provided with counseling services to redress the adverse psychological impact of rape.
Very importantly, steps should be taken to understand and respond using evidence-based approaches to address the underlying causes of sexual violence and recidivism among sex offenders. Resources must be invested to rehabilitate and reintegrate sex offenders. Thus, the Association calls on the government and non-governmental organizations to contribute towards the resolution of this social issue confronting our society.