LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Held at gun point by a police officer

Dear Editor,

As you may be aware, today is the last day of the 16 – Day campaign of Activism Against Gender-Based violence. This campaign aimed to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls internationally. Unfortunately the ending of violence against women is ongoing and is a goal that the world has to achieve. In regards to Dominica, there has been a silence on the issue of violence against women and girls and I am assuming that the silence is related to the stigma that is placed on it.

Today I decided to contribute towards breaking the silence by telling my story. Two years ago I was held at gun point by a male ‘friend’ who is a police officer employed in the commonwealth of Dominica police force.  The exact reasons for me being held at gun point are unclear but I am assuming that it was caused by my refusal to be in a formal relationship with him.

I stayed in shock for a few days after the incident. I was uncertain about the right way to deal with it. I was also pressured indirectly by the psychologist, and directly by family of the police officer, to refrain from reporting the matter to the police authority, as the police officer was deemed to be unstable mentally and had attempted self-harm on at least one previous occasion.

Today as I feel more confident to talk about it, I will admit that this wasn’t an excuse to withhold my report from the police but at that particular time, I felt that the trauma was something that I could get over quickly. Therefore, I decided to keep silent.

My silence wasn’t without negative consequence; it contributed to a drastic change in my life. I am now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.  I live my life in box, meaning that I spend most of my time at home as I am often contemplating that someone out there may hold me at gun point again or even kill me. I live my life in fear.

Silence is never a solution. Instead, women and girls should use their voices on any platform to liberate themselves and to also help end gender based violence. In my case, I was held at gun point by a police officer with a service firearm, but in another woman’s  or girl’s case, it could be rape, torture, mental or physical imprisonment, sexual harassment or discriminated against by a husband, father, uncle, neighbour, teacher and the list is not exhausted.

If you decide to take anything from this letter, I hope that you note that there is never a deadline to tell your story or to report the matter to the police, Women’s Bureau (Gender Affairs) and Social Welfare Department. I also hope that you remember that I broke my silence in order to open a pathway for persons like me and many other women and girls with similar stories to speak up and contribute towards the ongoing campaign to end Gender-Based violence.

Regards,

Victim of gender-based violence

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8 Comments

  1. December 11, 2018

    You remain silent and never exposed the maniac cop waiting to explode on another innocent citizen !!!
    Your selfishness and cowardice is amazing !

  2. Not a Police Matter
    December 11, 2018

    This is not strictly a police matter. It happens in all vocations, in all races in all countries. It’s a human frailty. In fact, we’ve made great strides against racism, against corruption, against slavery. Guess? Yet it rears it ugly head.

    Brave of you to write, my lady, despite whatever backlash. Not standing up only invites the next level. There should a required course for both boys & girls in primary school: Dealing With Gwo Pwell. BTW, barring an early confession, so-called ‘internal ‘police investigations should only be carried out by police from state or law enforcement agency.

  3. Sting
    December 10, 2018

    Pure rubbish get a life

    • Ibo France
      December 11, 2018

      What makes the commentary rubbish? I’ve come to realize that empathy is sadly lacking in this country. Here is a lady laying bare her soul to the world after her life was seriously threatened, and a fellow Dominican regarding this life-threatening incident as rubbish. Unbelievable!
      Madam, I wish you lots of love, happiness, good health and longevity going forward.

  4. For Love of the Nature Isle
    December 10, 2018

    Simply put…

    Gender-based violence stops girls from reaching their potential. My appeal to civil society – let’s all work to transform attitudes towards girls and women that perpetuate violence against them.

  5. jamie
    December 10, 2018

    Lady sorry to hear,but Dominica is filled with corruption,and those in authority continue to abuse others,but one day justice will come for all.I have never once read or heard the SO CALL PM CONDEMN THESE ACTS.

  6. Bobby
    December 10, 2018

    Dear Survivor, Thanks for coming out and I am glad that you are in a better place now but socially and mentally. I am also glad that you did not go the police leaders because you would be victimize twice with this mess-up no leadership police force. There are some wonderful officers who have vibrant and loving romantic and marital relationships but there are a lot with this type of mentality and behavior.—ladies be ware when dating these ya- hoos. You will get more than you bargain for and it snot worth it…

    Best of luck Survivor as you move on with your life. For this unstable cop- well he will hurt and passible kill the next lady who refuses him—but don’t ask the police to investigate and discipline one of their own–that is foreign to them.

    • Joseph John
      December 11, 2018

      Matters of abuse should be taken to court. Even the case if not successful, its not a matter of win or lose but a means of heightening poblic awareness. The goal would be get the government to pass the necessary legislation to punish purpertrators and protect the victims and those who encourage this. The time to stop this attack on women and innosent children IS NOW. Where are all the advocate of social justice ?

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