“Justice consists, not in being neutral between right and wrong but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong,” (Theodore Roosevelt)
In my capacity as the Shadow Minister of Youth empowerment, Women and Social Transformation, on behalf of the United Workers Party (UWP) Women’s Arm, Mrs. Eunica Anthony Victor and I unequivocally condemn the act of sexual abuse, indecent assault, rape and every form of abuse on men, women and children.
I was 12 when I was the victim of attempted rape. Though the actual act was not visited on me it changed my life forever. Despite the fact that I had not been physically deprived of my innocence, mentally I went through a stage of maturity that no 12 years old should have to go through.
My heart bleeds for the youth, particularly the young women of this country that is being made to go through mental and physical changes that they should not have to go through before they’re ready. I am angry, very angry that those who ought to know better and do better subject the future of this country, the future of our society to acts of hate and deprivation and violation of their rights. The adults who contaminate minds, exploit innocence, manipulate the less fortunate and expose our children to carnal knowledge should get nothing short of the full brunt of the law.
We must start the conversation, we must examine our societal standards, norms and cultural practices that sometimes cause these abominable acts to be perpetrated and accepted.
The welfare division, Dominica National Council of Women, Women’s Bureau and other stakeholders and NGO’s designed to deal with those matters must be empowered and adequate resources must be assigned. We must also review the legislation and ensure that enforcement is carried out at all times.
Parents, teachers, social, religious and political leaders are called forward to condemn sexual abuse against our boys and men, women and girls and to play their part in ensuring that their environment is safe and their well being a priority.
We remain committed to creating and advocating for an environment that is safe for all but in particular our women and girls and to ensure that their skills, abilities and talents will be nurtured and harnessed and that they will be allowed to grow and thrive to realize their fullest potential in an effort to create a better Dominica.
We continue to pray for the victims and the families of the victims.
We also take the opportunity to recognize all women and girls on International Women’s day as we stand in solidarity with the fitting message; “STOP SEXUAL ABUSE AGAINST OUR YOUNG PEOPLE.”
We are reminded today of the many barriers that have been torn down to realize the goal of a society that holds men and women in equal esteem but we are also reminded of the many disparities that still exist also. We pledge to continue to help with the fight towards gender equality and equity.