NGO Coalition ‘disappointed’ Sexual Offenses Amendment Bill not discussed in Parliament

Alexander said the Coalition will raise the matter with the government
Alexander said the Coalition will raise the matter with the government

Acting Secretary of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Coalition for the Protection of Children and Youth, Tina Alexander, has expressed the group’s extreme disappointment that the draft Sexual Offenses Amendment Bill was not brought before Parliament on Monday.

Alexander stated that the organization plans to raise the issue with the government.

“Our reaction is that we’re very disappointed that it wasn’t passed as expected, that it wasn’t even discussed. We’re very disappointed about that,” she said. “We’ll be raising it with the Ministry.”

Alexander noted that the group was told was the Bill would be brought before Parliament “before the end of this month” [July]. Hence, the group expected it to be raised at the meeting of Parliament, on Monday.

She revealed plans to confront Ministers, to seek justification for the omission of the draft Bill from Parliament.

“We’re going to have to raise it with the Ministers, and ask them to justify that. We haven’t received any information as to why that was…” Alexander divulged. “We have to confront the Minister, and find out what the justification was for not doing what they said they would do.”

Instead, several unrelated bills were introduced at the Seventh Meeting of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament, on Monday morning.

Following a staggering 135 reported cases of child sexual abuse in Dominica in 2014, Justice Minister Rayburn Blackmoore stated, in January 2015, that the government would establish systems to better equip prosecutors as they deal with the problem of sexual offenses on the island.

Sexual offenses dominated the Criminal Assizes in 2015, with a total of twenty-four cases in January, nine in April, and eight in September. Cases ranged from indecent assault, unlawful sexual intercourse, incest, rape, and buggery.

In October 2015, a special committee was appointed under the chairmanship of legal Consultant, Ray Harris to look at the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act of 1998 and to make some recommendations for amendments.

In January 2016, Harris submitted a report to Blackmoore with an Amendment Bill to the Sexual Offences Act.

On March 7, 2016, Attorney General, Levi Peter announced that a draft Sexual Offenses Amendment Bill, comprising of 17 sections, would soon be taken to Parliament for approval.

In June 2016, Justice Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore announced that the draft Sexual Offenses Amendment Bill would go before Parliament before the end of the year. He called the amended Act a duty owed to youth, women, and other vulnerable groups.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, revealed that he had been doing numerous consultations on child sexual abuse, with “no less than 105 people.”

The NGO Coalition has been on the forefront pushing for legislation to protect minors and the vulnerable in Dominica.

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49 Comments

  1. lougawo
    June 29, 2016

    dno u deletein my coments i will write it in arabic u wont understand

  2. Anonymous
    June 29, 2016

    Sister Tina I applaud your effort I cover you and your family
    Under the blood of Jesus and no weapon fashioned against
    You shall proper God Bless you

    • AMEN :!:

      Let the people of God rise up.

      “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to he pulling down of strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

      Did I hear somebody say “Protect your children any way possible” ?

      Yes! Any way possible! The time has come.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  3. abused
    June 29, 2016

    WANTED
    All Mothers, Fathers, Uncles, Aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, youth, elders,schools across the Island, teachers, congregations, Dominicans all, JOIN the students of CHS, in their match on saturday, starting from the Boulevard and moving on to the Gardens.

    SUPPORT your own. SUPPORT the youth, as they try to sensitize adults and their peers about the abominable sexual abuses of children.
    The adults are afraid to stand up against child sexual abuse. The young people need your encouragement. You women/men, where are your VOICES in support of those young sexually-abused victims

    4 months now since the AG mouthed about amendments to the Act, others did the same. Yet not even in that sitting of Parliament did dealt with that burning issue.

    Skerritt, and his DLP Cabal has failed the Youth, and Dominicans, in toto,. They do not care two hoots about protection of our minors

  4. Delvin Castro
    June 29, 2016

    Money more important than children.. Bill for British American Insurance Company Ltd (BIC)) and Colonial Insurance Company (CLICO), Money Laundering Act, Number 8 of 2011 and another for an act to amend the Proceeds of Crime Act Chapter 12:29. U think skerrit worry about children :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  5. I have been sexually abused since 8 years
    June 29, 2016

    For the record i will call myself “I have been sexually abused since 8 years” and chose to do so because i intend to continue writing till i can be free of my abuser.

    Firstly when the pressure and talk about having tougher laws and stiffer penalties for sex offenses. i start thinking, I will soon able to tell my sexual abuse story and get justice, consider it start at 8 years old, also I just turn 13 year, and attending a prominent secondary school
    However it was heart breaking to hear when Mr. Blackmore stated they will bring these new law to Parliament later in the year, hence I’m not surprise they did not even take it to House.
    I’m ready to write with the hope someday, there will be law to protect abuse children like me or like my school mate, who was the island talking-point, and still have my abuser will live in my face on TV, during convention, promotion, etc. and worse walk free and reputation and life damage.
    People there is maybe good men & women but also maybe…

  6. Toute Twele Roy
    June 29, 2016

    Earlier this year, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, revealed that he had been doing numerous consultations on child sexual abuse, with “no less than 105 people.” The Labor Party Government…… “One Man”. How can one man run a country. He has to oversee every single issue….. Where is the minister for social services, and other ministers? where are the PSs, where are the other graduates that are paid salaries. Government – One Man… your head will burst!!!! Give people a chance to function in their roles so the country can develop in a proper way.

  7. enough is enough
    June 29, 2016

    how can we still support a government that doesn’t do it’s best to protect our children ??? please can you tell me why ?? are we so stupid ??or we don t care ?

  8. Face the Facts
    June 28, 2016

    The government cares. Some of you place too many responsibilities on the government and none on yourselves who are also parents.
    Those who unduly criticize the government do not utilize their common sense, if you have any.
    First of all the Bill is being tabled. Secondly, there is a law against child molestation/ sexual abuse. Some perpetrators have already been tried and sentenced to prison.
    Thirdly but not last, parents are responsible for their children, to discipline/counsel them.
    Let us face it. The lifestyle of some parents do not project a good example to their children. The result of this is, children/teenagers are disobedient.
    No matter how much some caring parents discipline them, they do not obey.
    Is the government responsible to counsel the parents and their children?
    I was a child, a minor/teenager too. Why is it that some parents are successful in disciplining their children in every respect and others are not?
    GET OFF THE GOVERNMENT’S BACK!

    • Deborah
      June 29, 2016

      Righteousness exhaulteth a nation. FIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE upon Dominica. I don’t care which political party was in power. FIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I am praying for God to cleanse DOMINICA. Alas Bondieu FIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE upon the wicked. Who will protect our children when we accept wickedness in high places?FIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Face the facts when it happens to your son/daughter I hope you’ll put down your political flag.FIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    • enough is enough
      June 29, 2016

      well …..”face the facts”
      the first thing you should do is : face the facts.
      ok the the law exist fine, is it applicable to everybody…today ??
      why taking so long to pass the new one??
      i’m fully agree with you regarding the parents responsibility, but if in case they fell in their mission, and if their own children have ” bad conduct” the last protection we can give them is to make sure that any sex offender will be punish hard !! VERY HARD, HARDER that what it is today
      and i’m sorry but this is the government job.
      we probably see it in a different way but I guess all want we want is protection from our kids .
      are you agree ?

  9. Truth
    June 28, 2016

    Tina Alexander et al, did you all REALLY expect this to be debated??? Really??? SMFH

    The “REAL MAN” IS ONE OF THEIR OWN… Chavez, asked God to give him another chance and he will treat the people better, I wonder what these will ask God for. Good thing He doesn’t take bribes, He doesn’t want Duty Free

  10. June 28, 2016

    Lady do you think these recalcitrance politicians care about our CHILDREN We have to protect our kids by any means necessary.

  11. C.s. R
    June 28, 2016

    Isn’t obvious? Men in their 40s want to keep bedding women who can be their damn children.

  12. June 28, 2016

    Good luck on that one. Now it’s left to the parents to educate and protect their kids from these predators. Being poor and struggling doesn’t mean that your kids are subject to predators. God help us all.

  13. I can understand Ms. Alexander and members of the NGO Coalition for the Protection of Children and Youth being extremely disappointed. They were lied to. Sorry. There is no other way to say it.

    What the government should realise is that the Coalition has the majority of Dominicans on their side and most of them are saying “Enough is enough.”

    It will not be long until political candidates begin running with “Sexual Child Abuse” matters as part of their platform. I pray “God let them turn things around before there is an outbreak of vigilante justice”
    because there is nothing – I repeat nothing – any closer to a parent’s heart than he wellbeing of a child.

    I am not in Dominica but we have members of our churches with children and young people on the island. You have no idea how many of our Canadian church people visit Dominica ever year or so. As an international evangelist I have an interest in every nation where I have ministered, or hope to minister.

    Sincerely,…

  14. Doc. Love
    June 28, 2016

    Ma Alexander you are wasting your time to meet with Government. Until your organization take to the streets of Roseau, don’t expect Skeritt to even talk to you.

  15. June 28, 2016

    Promises, big comfort to ###fs, Press Confrences does not enact Bills, is action, real tangible action that start the process to where we must go on such a long awaited Sexual offences Bill. Coming Soon to a Tele, or some form of Media outlet. Another Press Confrence to spin what we are accustom of Hearing. Smh. We all in this together, when the rain falls it eventually falls on ever man/ woman House. Pray For Dominica!

  16. Hamil
    June 28, 2016

    Amen well said . Wait! Instead they will amend laws to silent our speech . Heartless people. Wait until it happens to one of theirs and you will see how fast it will be amended

  17. June 28, 2016

    They are more concerned about what will they get if England is not in the EU than what is happening at there home..in Dominica with the children of those who elected them.They might be looking at their backs or rather as we say in Dominica “they have cocoa in the sun.No matter what those what is taking place in Dominica right now ,those that vote for this gov’t in power ,light the charity goods that they are offered before election they will always vote for they again ,while the country in moving forward in reverse…every thing is falling a part ,they place is worse than 20 years a back,,when will we learn in Dominica?This present gov’t took days because talking about sexual offences which took place in D/ca but in less than 24 hours they were already missing a country who abused and sold their own race.

  18. free
    June 28, 2016

    Keep on doing what you all are doing…the good fight…something will come through

  19. Me
    June 28, 2016

    If you had any doubt, now you have confirmation of this government’s priorities.

  20. viewsexpressed
    June 28, 2016

    People, NGO`s, pastors, priests must understand that the leader and is inept gang are not serious with their heart in the centre of Dominica`s woes, that child sexual abuse that continues to happen. The priority for them is being on a plane as possible as they can, Travel to Macau, go look for another doctorate, upon some irate behaviour, give handouts to poor families where they daughters are raped and abused daily due to sever poverty and deprivation.
    Under this Skerrit led government NGO`s must understand that Dominica is not going anywhere

  21. AAGabriel
    June 28, 2016

    The priorities of the government of DA leave a lot to be desired. Did not really expect anything else!

  22. June 28, 2016

    Surprised? Surprised? We are being played like an old instrument. Left, Right, Center. Where there`s No Vision the People Perish, opinionExpressed, When the rope is streatched to much, it must Burst!!! God is good all the time, all the time God is Great, but he gives all of us chances, to Redeem our selves, it how or what we do with our Chances. Remember That!!!

  23. Concerned
    June 28, 2016

    Im thinking if the group was told it would get to parliament by end of July, maybe we should wait and remind the government that we are holding on to its word by end of July. Simply.

    • Me
      June 28, 2016

      If you rely on the word of this government for anything to happen you will have to wait till the bunny brings Easter eggs on Christmas day.

    • Helas!
      June 29, 2016

      The reading said end of this month !!! is this month June or July?

    • TPH
      June 29, 2016

      Well she said in the article, that she was told it would be brought to parliament “before the end of the month”, but since we are currently in the month of June and this article was written today June 29th, I believe the powers that be meant the month of JUNE and not JULY. Please make this correction DNO Editor. Thanks in advance.

  24. June 28, 2016

    Not suprise, its not in their best interrest

    • This is what makes it so frightening.

      You cannot see the core of the apple from the outside. :oops: But this is enough to make people wonder “Exactly what do we have here :?:” :twisted: :evil:

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist. 8)

  25. john wallace
    June 28, 2016

    government will not pass this bill until ……… case is called and he is let go, found not guilty

  26. CONSCIOUS
    June 28, 2016

    WELL WELL WELL AFTER ALL THAT UNDERAGE SEX PROBLEMS WHICH HAS SURFACED.

  27. cameron
    June 28, 2016

    Ms.Alexander,,so we never expected any law to pass,Dominica has a price to pay back and it will be very soon.

  28. oh Yes
    June 28, 2016

    This government’s priorities are just wrong and mixed up. Social justice cries in the distance while greed and envy abound. When concerned citizens express themselves it then construed as being negative. Help the vulnerable mr. Government!

  29. For Dominica
    June 28, 2016

    That goes against their agenda. they do not care about what you are asking. Women and children are not a priority, even though they have 4 women in their Cabinet….. So, Mrs Alexander, you are fighting a losing battle. This the the culture they tolerate and accept. Youth, protect yourselves and your loved ones to the best of your ability, because the administrative government today wont, nor does it care to.

    • Tina Alexander I encourage you to be strong.

      Continue to fight the good fight.

      “If God be for us who can be against us :?: ” (Romans 8:31)

      The majority of Dominicans are good people. They ARE on standing with you against this – the worst evil of the 21st century – and you ARE going to win.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • Truth
      June 28, 2016

      She didn’t expect it to pass… But she is expected to play the part

      • During WW 2 Winston Churchill said:

        “England expects every man to do his duty.”

        When we stand before God let Jesus Christ say of you to the Father “That one spoke for us in the evil day.”

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • It appears that way.

      But I have a chilling prophetical word for the nation.

      Unless the government changes God is going to change the government.

      “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  30. natural dominican
    June 28, 2016

    lol really pass laws that would incriminate their own…oh no no no like the old saying goes ‘that and god face we wouldn’t see’ lol

  31. Concerned
    June 28, 2016

    Who cares?

  32. tatiana
    June 28, 2016

    My lady that is not important in Dominica now!!! it will affect too many officials; what is important is disarming the opposition ……. they selling out and interfering with the Government business too much.

  33. Reasoning
    June 28, 2016

    :?: Coming from a so-called first world country and Europe i find you to be behaving like a naive woman of ignorance of which i don’t think you are.Living too long on this island must have caused you to lose your good sense of judgment.Are you that blind and cannot see that these group posing as government is incompetent and not interested in good governance? They find themselves in power because of the high level of ignorance among the people who votes, .When it comes to laws that will hold them accountable,they will not implement them …..My advice to you madame,is to join the cause to remove these illegal and then you may have the chance of such laws!!! REVOLUTION TIME IS NOW!!!

    • I have been following this – promises made and promises broken – routine for several years and I hate to admit it but I am at the point now where I am ready to admit REVOLUTION may be the only way out of the current moral abyss.

      You need a man who will not lie to the people, a man who will render sex offenders (especially those who violate children) incapable of reoffending, and totally clean the mess up. It is not going to harm the country to listen to what the NGO for the Protection of Children and Youth are asking for and give it to them ASAP. In fact there is no other answer.

      Every REVOLUTION must have a leader. It is time now for that person to take center stage.

      Sincerely Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

      • For Dominica
        June 30, 2016

        Dominicans still suffering from 1979. The question is who will throw the first stone? we lack courage here. secretly we live in fear. fear of being shot, fear of losing our jobs, fear of being criticized and ostracized by friends family neighbors etc. We are not courageous like our forefathers to make the bold step and rise UP! against injustice on all levels. Talk shows, social media and yes DNO are our ways of “rebelling” against the system hidden behind fake user names, photos and anonymity. The revolution will not be televised; but then again, maybe it just might be.

  34. FORKIT
    June 28, 2016

    how you expect men to create laws to frustrate their efforts

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