STAY WELL & SPARKLE: Rape Kits Now!

SAFE KitDominica’s current monster scandal brings to mind what happened in the United States some years ago. Bill Clinton had sternly wagged a palefinger at the cameras. In a presidential, cut-this-crap manner, he intoned, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms Lewinski…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiIP_KDQmXs. However, as soon as authorities got their hands on that rumoured blue dress – the one with that infamous stain, Bill Clinton basically cowered, “Okay, okay…”

Here’s one reason why God will continue to bless the state of Israel. Correct me if I’m wrong, but their neighbours have reverted to stoning women and selling them as sex slaves. Meanwhile, Israel remains the only country I know of which successfully prosecuted a sitting president for sexual assault. His Excellency Moshe Katsav began serving his 7-year prison term in 2011.

A couple months ago, someone from the Non-Governmental Coalition for the Protection of Children and Youth asked me to write a strong article on child sexual abuse in Dominica. Back then, I felt that the issue had already gotten much air time and was a bit too creepy anyway. Shouldn’t we be focusing instead on more positive development matters? Then all of a sudden, BOOM! They were right. I was wrong.

In the Caribbean today, only about 15% of sexual assault cases are successfully prosecuted. The leading excuse is lack of physical evidence. Upon my return home 3 years ago, I inquired about rape kits at the Princess Margaret Laboratory and the Police prosecutor. They basically laughed saying we had no such thing in Dominica. Why? Government did not see this as a worthwhile expense.

While in England for a recent conference, I inquired about rape kits from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). When I overnighted in St. Maarten on my way back, I stopped at the Medical Center and inquired of Dr.Mercuur, their Forensic Medical Expert, how exactly their legal system handled assaults. He was most gracious and helpful.

A rape kit is more properly called a SAFE kit (Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence).This is performed in a private secure place supported by a health care professional trained in counselling. Fingernails and mouth are swabbed. Hair is combed for fibre analysis. Photographs document the presence or absence of injuries. Swabs of relevant areas are taken for possible DNA analysis. Blood tests are obtained to screen for sexually transmitted diseases. Emergency contraception is offered. SAFE kits can help identify an unknown perpetrator or serial offender as well as clear innocent suspects.

This, my friends, is the international standard. By admission of our health and legal authorities, Dominica is not even on the radar. Because we may not be able to afford to do all, is no reason why we should not at least do some. At the moment, victims of sexual abuse are pretty much on their own. The wealthy can afford hired gun lawyers who will not hesitate to unleash innuendo and victimize again in defense of their clients. Victims intensely fear being dissected in public like that. Without appropriate support, taking hush money seems like a common sense, win-win option.

The alleged suspects are all friends of mine. I have reached out to them. I pray for their families. There is hope and redemption but please spare us more grief. At the end of the day, it is about the victim, the child, isn’t it? That is someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, niece or b.f.f. The most common reaction I hear is “If this was my ­_____, I would be in jail already!”

Dr. Sam Christian
Dr. Sam Christian

 

 

Thanks to the Congressional Black Caucus and others, Bill Clinton survived impeachment by the skin of his teeth. Because of that outcome, Hilary Clinton is today on track to become the first female president of the United States. (Unless, of course, Trump…well, let’s not even go there!) Mr. Clinton was otherwise well loved and no one is perfect. Monica was not a child, but society has to draw a line somewhere.

Lies, corruption and cover-ups are so commonplace here, it is sad that most young people actually think that’s how the rest of the world normally operates. But with this scandal, one thing has become clear. Dominican women are sick and tired of being ignored. They are sick and tired of the hypocrisy. They are sick and tired of the judicial reviews and delays. The tens of thousands of dollars spent on sewo for that recent clown show at Canefield Airport could finance rape kits for the next ten years. So let’s cut this crap and do what’s right for our women and children!

Unlike MRI or heart surgery, the basic components of the rape kits are readily available to any laboratory professional, nurse or doctor in Dominica today. It is your right as a citizen of this modern world. So know exactly what to ask for. If anyone is assaulted, tell them don’t wash despite feeling so violated and dirty. Get to a caring health professional as soon as possible to secure the evidence. Because as with Bill Clinton’s blue dress, once you have that, the guilty party is likely to say, “Okay, okay…”

Dr. Sam Christian is a syndicated columnist focus on health-related development issues. He can be reached at his Urgent care office at 767 440-9133 or clicking on http://urgentcareda.weebly.com/

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26 Comments

  1. Sam Has Done More than Most
    March 21, 2016

    A simpleton in response has the guts to criticize Sam Christian about not working for Dominica just because he condemn idolatry at Canefield. Dominicans have not gathered to discuss relief or a halt to child abuse but they can rally to sing praises to Massa. Doninica is a free country and we must retain our right to call our our government or anyone who does wrong. For those who don’t know Dr Sam

    1. President of United Student Council
    2. President of NYC
    3. President of Dominica Psychiatric Society
    4. Facilitated Dominica first modern hearse and chill box for the mortuary
    5. Organized hurricane David Relief in Washington DC in 1979/1980
    6. As head of DAAS Medical Committee assisted restocking of the medical stores when it burnt down in 2005.

    Now let those hateful supporters of the petty tyranny running Dominica try doing some community service. Sam sure has been consistent. What say you, mockery makers? You have made of Dominica a sad tragicomedy of scandal. God help us!

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    March 21, 2016

    I am convinced that rape kits would be useful and have written a proposal for a consultant to supply 100 kits and train the police , doctors and gynacologists, and lab techs in how to manage them to keep the chain of evidence intact and legal. The cost would be USD15,000.(Tina Alexander).

    That comment is so disgusting, and out of order, I regret it may appear I am dignifying it with a response!

    What purpose will a rape kit serve in Dominica in a situation where criminal pedophiles, prey on children, who are poor? Don’t you understand the criminals are paying there children to have sexual intercourse with them. Dominicans always like to talk fart to try and impress those who do not know!

    So I am presenting the purpose and use of a rape kit, for educational purpose only!

    Note: DNA evidence from a crime scene, like sexual assault can be collected from the crime scene; however, it can also be collected from one’s body, clothes, and other personal belongings. One may…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      March 21, 2016

      Continue:

      Note: DNA evidence from a crime scene, like sexual assault can be collected from the crime scene; however, it can also be collected from one’s body, clothes, and other personal belongings. One may choose to have a sexual assault forensic examination, sometimes known as a “rape kit,” to preserve possible DNA evidence and receive important medical care. The victime don’t have to report the crime to have an exam, but the process gives the victim a chance to safely store evidence should one decide to report the crime at a later time!

      If a lawyer can go into court in Dominica and convince a judge that DNA evidence is not good evidence, and the dumb judge agreed and set a murder free after his DNA was found on the child he raped and murdered. What rape kit are you talking about?

  3. View Expressed
    March 21, 2016

    Ohhhhhhhh Dr. Christian, thanks much, much appreciated.

    NGO Coalition members and the well known child Advocates, for example, Francis Joseph, Doreen Francis, those are in the communities must feel supported specifically from a medical point of view to have read your article.
    Well said, thanks

  4. amindom
    March 21, 2016

    Very good . I always thought why norape kits here!

  5. Marcus Hill
    March 21, 2016

    his own house?

  6. Zandoli
    March 21, 2016

    Dr. Sam, let’s face it, we are a backward thinking people. At idea of adopting best practices is a foreign concept in Dominica.

    Just try going to the emergency department complaining of chest pain and see how long it takes to get the attention of the medical staff. If you were suffering from a heart attack, you would likely die in the emergency department before they attended to you.

    I have always looked forward to returning to Dominica, but now I am having second thoughts. That is a direct result of the backward mentality of the people.

  7. Sam the HATER
    March 21, 2016

    I was reading along nicely, agreeing with everything you say. Then I came to this one sentence.

    First of all, is El Primo that caused all that child abuse? You see any video of him? Why allu so jealous of the man? So is u alone to have doctorate den? I’m sure celebrate when you get yours. So leave the man alone. Let him celebrate his accomplishment with a few of his friends.

  8. March 21, 2016

    I am convinced that rape kits would be useful and have written a proposal for a consultant to supply 100 kits and train the police , doctors and gynacologists, and lab techs in how to manage them to keep the chain of evidence intact and legal. The cost would be USD15,000.

    In addition we must end the ridiculous practice of conducting non emergency rape exams and disclosure interviews in the middle of a busy Accident and Emergency Department. We must also reconsider the protocol that means that rape victims are automatically admitted to the ward. Generally this is not clinically indicated and is about waiting for the gynacologist to visit in the course of their public duties. However it results in the vicitm being examined by one if not two more junior doctors, seperates the child from her support system, exposes her to yet more gossip and blocks a bed
    The police should have a gynaecologist and nurse on retainer and use the high risk clinic at PMH

    • Jaime Lewis
      March 22, 2016

      Mrs. Alexander: Is your organization in need of $15,000 to purchase the kits? Please set up a paypal account and reach out to Dominicans in the diaspora to help you raise these funds. I am certain there are more than 15000 Diasporans who would willingly contribute $1 each to the cause.

      Please share your contact information. This is a worthy cause that many people support. The Rape Kit campaign.

    • AMEN!!!
      March 22, 2016

      I must commend you Mrs. Alexander, for your amazing courage and steadfastness throughout – long before this got into the headlines. Stand strong! May the good Lord build around you a hedge of protection from these cornered pedophile beasts.

      You are playing a crucial role in bringing these abusers to justice. For this Dominica will forever be grateful.

  9. Shabba Lives?
    March 20, 2016

    The legend of Shabba the rapist made a mockery of Dominica’s criminal justice system for so many years. Dominican women lived in constant fear until Antiguan police put an end to that nonsense.

    I get what Dr. Sam is saying. This scandal is so troubling yet authorities are trying to get away with handling things the same old way. Conscious Dominicans not going to let it happen again this time. Thanks Dr. Sam for being honest enough to admit how your opinion evolved on this issue. You have been consistent fighting for protection of women and children. Stay strong! We with you all the way…

  10. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    March 20, 2016

    , “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms Lewinski…”(Bill Clinton).

    Doc, many of us remember that comment too well!

    Nevertheless, there is a very big difference in the Bill Clinton saga, of lies and infidelity; the one serious difference is that Monica Lewinski was an adult at the time, she was over the age of 18 years old. It would be very difficult to prove that the sexual encounter was not consensual, the only reason that made the new was because Clinton was President of the United States.

    There is a vast difference in the situation in Dominica, in that these so called officials in high places are nothing more than common pedophiles, who prey’s on young under age children, which has been going on for a very long time.

    The officials involved may contend that their actions were consensual, but the fact remains an under age child cannot consent to having sex with an old man without consequences! Therefore an example has to be made of the present day…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      March 20, 2016

      Therefore an example has to be made of the present day pedophiles, in order to bring to an end sexual molestation, and sexual abuse of children in the country.

  11. March 20, 2016

    Thank you Dr. Christian for this excellent and informative article. I have never read anything like it which in itself says something about how much the info is needed.

    One would naturally think ”rape kits” would be readily available in every doctor’s office, and hospital emergency room. While we would unrealistically hope they were never needed it is hard to imagine anything worse than one not being available when it is needed.

    In places where we would expect to find them it is shocking it seems they were almost unheard of. Just consider the response the doctor received when he asked about them. This reflects the lack of concern for the victim. It is the lack of respect and consideration for children and women. I don’t want to labor the point but it shows where we are as a society.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  12. Petrie Disch
    March 20, 2016

    In the words of the former MD of the IMF, Dominique Strauss Khan – ‘.. at first she screamed, then struggled, but afterwards consented your honour’! (something like that anyway).

    Rape cannot be tolerated in any civilised country. For those of you who want to go light on these evil men, think of the victim being your own mothers, grandmothers, children… then your blood start to boil, yes?

  13. March 20, 2016

    I hope that the gov’t have thought of keeping in a safe place some of past rape samples in case they improve their system when rape kits will be in use…
    Make sure to change the law and state that there is no expiration date for the rapists so that Dominicans who were raped can get some justice by giving rapists some serious imprisonment and a high compensation for the victims…If the gov’t cannot decide now because it is an emergency to punish rapist ,murderers ,hijackers and thieves seriously ,Dominica will follow in the foot steps of Jamaica and Trinidad…WE are not in need of that in Dominica..

  14. DAASsakway mal fete
    March 20, 2016

    That is how we can exposed the fiction of sincerity by attacking the welcome parade of a PM in a generally thoughtful article.
    Do you have an interest in having such kits on island and selling them to the government ? Have u attempted to use this idea to the state? The accused – yah you know dem eh?Economic expediency? Waw why not get dem kits and sell them to the public and private sector and civil society? How much did the PM welcome party cost and who paid for it ? We just cannot reward success? Tout bagai say dayfoe ! But to get a licence to operate in Dominica was an ass kissing exercise loaded in flattery dat good make a God of the Pm and his government ???- dat was even facilitated after the infamous walls of jericho failed procession around the financial building. What ahu saying about the accused— u send dem underneath the bus already just like linton did to joshua ? What efforts ahu involved in giving back to Dominica since you came back and while in the US ? Patriots…

  15. Where are our Women?
    March 20, 2016

    Dr Christian while I agree witG you 100%, you shall remain a voice in the wilderness unless and until our people rise up and take responsibility for the sad state of affairs on Dominica. How much more can you warn us? That brings me to our women in cabinet, the one from Grandbay quiet. The one from Paix Bouche really shut her mouth for good it looks like. The one from the West Coast gone to rest. The minister of works they just put there not looking like she working at all. There you have it. Four women on cabinet and they are all deaf, dumb, blind and give all praise to Massa Doctor. When women stand up and demand their rights and government action then we shall see action to curb sexual abuse. And yes, Dr Chris we give you an A plus for trying to raise the dormant Dominican consciousness.

    • Ou es Madame sanders?
      March 21, 2016

      ASk Sanders.Where is she when most needed?

  16. Ama
    March 20, 2016

    Dr. Christian, very good write up. I would leave the part about Israel out. Just in case you have not read about what Israel has done to Ethiopian Jews. But great article nonetheless!

  17. Jaime Lewis
    March 20, 2016

    I completely agree with Dr. Christian. Rape kits are a must. Having a safe and secure place with well concealed cameras that document the procedure without violating the victim’s privacy, sexual assault counselors on site, a forensic police officer trained in sexual assaults, these kits are a sure way of ensuring that there is evidence, and that the evidence is not tampered with. We cannot continue this practice of hearsay, allowing the victim to be re-victimized in the court of public opinion, and again in the regular judicial system.
    Women – we must stand up. We must educate ourselves on this topic. This scourge of child sexual abuse is not unique to Dominica. What is unique here, is that we are not storming the walls of the Financial Center, we are not holding vigils outside the homes of the government officials who must pass legislation to fund these initiatives. We are not holding pastors, priests, other women who hold high office accountable. Our children continue to suffer.

    • March 20, 2016

      Thank you Jaime Lewis.

      Another well written and appreciated comment!

      To many this issue is only a detail. But it is a very important detail.

      Dr. Christian has done well to draw attention to the problem. Now let the appropriate NGO that has an interest in the most vulnerable among us jump all over it!

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • Truth
      March 21, 2016

      The sad thing is that we expect the three gentleman (not gentlemen) who are on bail for allegedly abusing a 14 year old girl will get away with this dreadful violation. It is highly likely the courts will find ways to allow them to go free! Dominicans we should be doing the above, we cannot allow this to happen to our children. This is truly a way of collecting physical evidence that cannot be turned a blind eye too. I wonder what the lawyers and judges feel when they read the comments on DNO about the court system do they not feel ashamed that they are not delivering justice. I seriously hope they feel guilty.

    • GANIBBS
      March 21, 2016

      Positive words of encouragement and enlightenment for our community at large, more so our abused youths and women.I would suggest to the government and other concerned parties to invest wisely in the training of forensics nurses. This is a highly technical field that requires trust worthy,compassionate and unbiased personnel,who will fulfill this delicate and intricate task of evidence retrieval that will most likely convict this gutless criminals in a court of law

  18. %
    March 20, 2016

    Once I hear the term judicial review, I remember GON Emmanuel,and how criminals and devils in jacket and tie tried to convince their fools that he burnt his own house.

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