Rape: Opposition leader blasts insensitivity

The leader of the opposition, Doctor Gale Rigobert, has said that she is disturbed by the insensitivity of some people in regard to the spate of rapes that have been taking place in Saint Lucia.

“The insensitivity being spewed is very disturbing and I would like to think for some of these people, the hacks, they will wake up,” Rigobert said.

She made reference to the “obvious politicization” of the issue and the temptation to blame the victim.

“I have made it clear that women who are labour party supporters get raped, women who are supporters of the United Workers Party get raped as do women with no political affiliation, “the Micoud North MP declared.

Rigobert asserted that rape knows no colour, creed, race, size or age.

She said it was an act of violence against women.

The opposition leader said it was for that reason that she has called on women and men from across the political divide to stand up and voice their disgust and anguish over rape.

Rigobert recalled that questions are being asked in relation to public officials being held to a higher standard.

“It is felt that persons desirous of assuming such public office should be sure within themselves and that the organizations to which they belong should be satisfied they have in effect, lived exemplary lives and are in good standing and are fit to occupy these offices,” she declared.

Rigobert added:

“Many victims will say to you that perhaps part of the problem is that would be perpetrators of these crimes are relatively confident that they can get away, because of other historical incidents that they are well aware of where people have gotten away.”

The Micoud North MP said she has raised concerns regarding the continued closure of the forensic lab as an important institution in resolving crime and achieving justice.

She also recalled raising the issue of Identification parades where victims are called on to confront attackers.

The opposition leader expressed the opinion that a video identification system would ensure that victims do not have constantly to be reminded of the horror of the experience of rape.

She also called for the strengthening of the Vulnerable Persons Unit of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), which is charged with investigating incidents of rape and sexual assault.