Like many of you, especially our women, I feel a deep sense of outrage, revulsion and anger about the recent spate of rapes in our country.
Rape is a brutal act of violence.
I so wish I could find the right words to comfort the victims, their families and friends.
It is true that there have been many incidents of rape in the past, many of which have never been reported, but why is it that some men have suddenly felt emboldened to commit these crimes in recent times?
It is clear that strong laws with stiff penalties are not enough. We have to look for other solutions. We need to look seriously at the suggestion that a “Sex Offenders List” be created.
In that regard, we must look at the experience of other countries that have moved in that direction.
We need to review how rapes are evidenced in court. It is not right that a victim of rape has to undergo such trauma in giving evidence before a judge and jury.
Giving evidence is a dehumanizing and traumatic experience. Should rape cases be heard before a jury? Men must be made to understand, that “no means no”; “silence also means no”.
For my part, I will ensure that the Police Force implement my suggestion that a dedicated unit be established within the Police Force to investigate rapes and bring to justice those responsible for these heinous acts.
I am sure you have other suggestions.
Some champion the need for self-defence classes; others want to legalize the use of pepper spray.
This is not a “red” or “yellow” issue.
It touches all of us and so we must express our collective outrage in one voice.