Castries, Saint Lucia – March 2, 2016— Speak Out St. Lucia (S.O.S.) is pleased with Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony’s March 28, 2016 statement in which he calls for more than just the incarceration of persons found guilty of rape and other sexual offences, but for also exploring the need for the island to have a Sexual Offenders Registry.
The problem of rape, child molestation, incest, and other sexual offences in Saint Lucia has existed for decades and has now reached crisis proportions. Although the words of the Prime Minister are comforting, it is worth noting that many similar acknowledgements have been made by the authorities over the past decades with little to no resolution.
Speak Out St. Lucia contends that a proper functioning judicial system is critical to enable any consultations and recommendations, enforcement, and application of the law to be successful. Of vital importance to the prosecution of sex crimes is the timely processing of DNA and other evidence which would lead to speedy trials and resolution of cases. The island has a Forensics Laboratory which needs to be properly staffed and resourced in order to solidify the adoption of any short and long term measures to stem this epidemic.
Speak Out St. Lucia believes that any action against sex crimes will require more than government or law enforcement participation, therefore Speak Out St. Lucia calls for the development of a National Strategy which speaks to a comprehensive approach in dealing with the issues. This includes, but is not limited to, collaboration between key sector agencies; psychological and counseling services to victims; public sensitization; protection for victims and witnesses; and the need for the creation of a safe and confidential environment where victims as well as non-victims feel safe to report these crimes.
The S.O.S. team of dedicated Saint Lucians is willing to assist with this endeavor as we collectively battle the scourge of rape, child molestation and other sexual crimes affecting our nation.
We cannot continue paying lip-service to this issue, but rather must take decisive action which will illustrate our commitment to eliminating sex crimes in Saint Lucia. We have reached the brink of a national emergency. Rape does not discriminate!