Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony said the increased reports of rape across the island is a worrying trend, but pointed out that this issue runs deeper than a security issue.
He said for too long “we have been silent about sexual violence in our homes and our communities”. He said in many instances, persons know there are fathers, uncles, stepfathers and others who commit deviant sexual acts in homes and communities and nothing is said or done.
“Quite often the perpetrators are protected. These unreported cases lead to an even greater problem in our society, where these men grow to believe that this is acceptable behaviour. We need to tackle the problems at the root,” he said in a press release.
In response to an increase in reports of rape earlier this year, Dr. Anthony says he had recommended to Acting Commissioner, Errol Alexander, that a special unit be established within the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to investigate rape cases and to also build a database that stores DNA evidence to determine whether some of these cases are being committed by repeat offenders.
“We have serial rapists at large,” he says.
The Prime Minister expressed hope that the intended reopening of the Forensic Laboratory, under new management would better assist police in conducting investigations and testing DNA samples.
He stressed, however, that the first, most important response is that people report known sex offenders.