Former Home Affairs and Gender Relations Minister, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, has described the spate of sex crimes that Saint Lucia has been experiencing as unacceptable.
Sarah Flood-Beaubrun is currently the Minister responsible for External Affairs.
She told reporters outside parliament today that the situation was unacceptable especially when it comes to the sexual abuse of children.
“But I have to say and I am being very frank about it, we live in a highly sexualized environment where the way children and women are portrayed in the media encourages disrespect for women,” the Minister said.
“If we are serious about dealing with the prevalence of sexual abuse in our country we have to deal with the media, we have to deal with education, we have to ensure that laws are strengthened and applied and importantly, we have to have support services. We have to be able to remove children from homes where they are vulnerable and place them in a safe environment.”
Sarah Flood-Beaubrun also spoke of the need to prosecute criminals and send the strongest message that sexual abuse will not be tolerated.
She called on mothers and fathers to take a stand against the practice.
Flood-Beaubrun said he entire society must take a stand and demonstrate zero tolerance against any kind of abuse of children.
The Minister, commenting on assertions by her colleague – National Security Minister Hermangild Francis, that children were being ‘trafficked’ by their mothers, declared that there is no reason why a child should be prostituted.
She nevertheless said she understands difficult economic situations in which parents can find themselves and sometimes do not have the strength and the wherewithal to withstand the pressures.
However Flood-Beaubrun highlighted the need to continue to find employment for women and support families that are struggling.
“We must not wait until the crisis comes to intervene,” she told reporters.