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(PRESS RELEASE) – It is with a grieving heart that Women in Action has to yet again address another of the ills of society that affect our women in particular.
The video currently being circulated of the young school girl being sexually assaulted by a male counterpart and being witnessed and filmed by a group of males, is another blow to the dignity of our women.
This video shows a young girl in a compromising situation, which in itself is rape. She is being forced to perform a sexual act, she is being threatened, physical and sexually assaulted, being sexually assaulted by another onlooker in the process, all while being filmed and with several other young men in that room witnessing a young lady being ill-treated and looking on in support as opposed to condemning the act.
Firstly, this video again shines the light on pornography and the malaise that it is – whereby individuals want to replicate what they see, not concerned or even aware that studies show the women in those films most of the time are themselves performing those acts under duress, against their wishes. Yet we take pleasure in the appearances without regard for the inhumane realities behind the scenes.
This incident also shows the sad state of so many of our young men and their lack of respect for the women in their lives. Again, importantly, not all men can be categorized as such and we applaud those who do honour and respect their women and who categorically condemn such heinous acts.
We call out to our men – young and old – to stand up against these barbaric acts. Your voice is also important. Help each other learn to treat our women better rather than draw them into those situations.
It brings to mind the recent trend in some of the music being produced which do nothing but degrade our women, calling for them to do sexual exploits to show what they can do; and our young girls and women get caught up in that “movement” responding to these, not realizing that its only people of a baser inclination are projecting their own inclinations onto others, and that YOU as an individual do NOT HAVE TO give credence to them.
Parents – mothers AND fathers, please counsel your children and live exemplary lifestyles that discourage those behaviors in them. Children obey your parents, no matter how imperfect they are. Know for yourself what is wrong and avoid situations that will compromise you. Youth, support each other in the right activities; condemn what is wrong.
Discourage your peers from actions that will compromise them, help them consider the consequences. Do not be a part of such activities.
I believe all parties involved in this, whether directly or indirectly, should as Saint Lucians, in as much as we have freedom of speech, freedom to use our bodies as we please, I implore al of us to denounce acts that cross the line,
Women in Action believes that no one deserves to be a victim of sexual violence
– Our women ought to be treated with dignity and respect
– Perpetrators ought to be brought to justice
– Our youth ought to be directed aright, even when they have gone wrong
We call on society to speak to young men and women in your spheres of influence; engage in discussion and recommit yourselves to a higher standard. Let us see the act for what it is – distasteful, inhumane, uncompassionate, illegal, and a reflection of where we are as a society. It is said, “si pa ni soutwiyez, pa ni voleur”. If as a society we do not condone such acts in any form – from music to lifestyles – then such incidences would be fewer. We do not have to be a socialist country like Singapore to have a more decent society.
It begins with us holding fast to useful values and striving to maintain it, rather than discarding with every individual who gives us an excuse to let go. If others want to give in to their base instincts we do not have to; in fact let’s continue to advocate against it.
I understand that these things have been happening but that social media is shining a light on it. However, I still believe that it IS worse today than before because our values have been compromised; Our values are constantly being challenged by those who do not want to be restricted by them; and we as a society, in the quest to be correct, we have been lowering our collective thresholds to allow for those baser forms of expression in the name of freedom of expression.
We feel the pain of the parents of this child!