Saint Lucia’s Director of Social Services, Elizabeth Lewis, has told St Lucia Times that her department is receiving ‘alarming’ reports of incest and wants the activity to stop.
According to Lewis, incest continues to be a ‘real issue’ for the Department of Human Services.
“A lot of our reports, over 80 percent of our reports are that of incestuous relationships and I think particularly of sexual relationships between fathers and daughters, siblings and other family members,” she disclosed.
Lewis said her department recognises that incest has been a long standing issue in the society.
She noted that several reasons have been offered to explain why incest occurs, but noted that there has never been any research to determine what the issue really is.
Lewis said incest is a source of concern the the Department of Human Services.
“We are always concerned because we recognise that it is a criminal offence in Saint Lucia,” she told St Lucia Times, adding that the activity has a devastating psychological effect on victims and families.
“Persons who have these tendencies need to see a psychologist – they need to see a counsellor to deal with whatever issues that they have,” Lewis said.
Lewis said persons who know of cases of incest should report the matter to the authorities.
“What we are seeing a lot of times is that victims of incest become perpetrators of it,” she observed.
The Director of Social Services told St Lucia Times that in almost every case her department deals with, persons involved know that incest is wrong.
“But for some reason they still go ahead and engage in the activity,” Lewis explained.
She spoke against the backdrop of reports in the local media this week that that a local woman and her sister were propositioned by their brother during a WhatsApp conversation.
One of the women said the brother even wanted to arrange for her to spend time with him at a guest house where they could have sexual relations.
The woman, who said she was angry and disgusted, disclosed that she shared the offensive messages with the rest of her family and told the brother she wanted nothing to do with him anymore.
She also said she spoke with the man’s wife out of concern of what he may do to his own children.
She said her brother then asserted that she was accusing him in an effort to obtain family property.
“He even told someone that he did not know it was me – he thought that it was his wife he was messaging,” she said.