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Sexual abuse prevention advocate wants increase cases of rape tackled

By Samuel Sukhnandan, Staff Reporter

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Dathorne

Director of Positive Reactions Over Secrets and Fears (PROSAF) Souyenne Dathorne said she would like to see greater change in how issues of sexual violence, particularly rape, are addressed in St. Lucia.

Dathorne’s comment comes on the heels of reports of increased cases of rape and sexual abuse on island.

The PROSAF director told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview that she would also like to see a greater understanding for the educational aspect on this topic, especially among students, counselors and teachers.

“St. Lucia has to begin to see sexual violence as a serious problem and to want to make a change. We have trained individuals willing to offer their expertise, willing to work with government and various agencies; we need to stop being territorial,” she told SNO.

Dathorne believes there is need for more awareness, more education, better training, more resources, more support, more validation, greater justice, better policy and more rehabilitation regarding sexual abuse.

“Sexual violence is about power and sex. It damages the people who have to live with the memories and after-effects of it. How many more have to be raped, killed and hurt themselves, before we take it seriously?’ she questioned.

Youth Minister Shawn Edward, during the opening of the Youth Centre and the Dennery Hospital, had admitted to high incidence of rape in his constituency, Dennery. Edward had pointed out that his constituency not only has the highest number of reported cases of rape, but incest.

The Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), in its mid-year report, revealed that there was a slight decrease in sexual offenses and a significant increase in the detection rate of 63 per cent. But, the PORSAF director believes that number could be much higher, given the stigma that is attached to victims, who most times do not report incidence of rape or sexual abuse.

Dathorne told SNO that there also needs to be a change in the concept that,“what happens behind closed doors is none of my business.” She reminded that it takes a community to raise a child, yet when things of this nature happens, people tend to pay a blind eye to the situation.

She further pointed out that there needs to be a greater understanding and a more tolerant culture where survivors could feel supported and believed. “If we constantly pick the side of the abuser, survivors will remain quiet, knowing that speaking out will yield no results,” she added.

The sexual abuse prevention advocate told SNO that she doesn’t believe there are enough social programmes that encourage victims to speak out without being stigmatised. Starting with educational programmes aimed at educating the youth on boundaries and respect, she said could produce results.

“There needs to be more in-depth conversations with the youth so we can begin to understand why they view and react to things in a specific way,” she explained.

The PROSAF director is also calling for more support groups to be made available for survivors of sexual violence, both male and female, and managed by trained individuals.

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4 comments

  1. What the .. is the St Lucia Minister doing about it.
    God is watching You all
    You Will pay for not doing the right things in St Lucia.

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  2. Why is the Government so afraid to tackle the subject of RAPE: ?

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  3. Women can't teach boys to become men; Men can't teach girls to become women.
    Lesson 1: A corrupt society breeds corruption.

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  4. This Happens When mothers stop talking to their boys. Mothers no matter how old they are they can become a statistic or victim yes i said victim. Don't the boys get rape to. This is just as bad. They may never ever talk about it. So mothers keep talking to your children. I said talk not quarel. Lord please protect this generation.

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