Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Reform rape laws

Published:Monday | May 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I think the way rape is dealt with in our legal system is very archaic. A woman can simply say it happened and immediately the accused is arrested. If afterwards she says it wasn't so, he is released, no harm, no foul, right?

Wrong, there is harm, because the accused is now put under the microscope of the Jamaican saying, 'If it nuh go so, it go near so.'

This means that if the woman drops the charges and recants her statement, there are going to be those who will say she was either threatened or paid off. But the damage has already been done because no one wants their name to be associated with certain negativity, even if it is expunged after the fact.

The accusation, in itself, most times does irreparable damage to one's image. How many times have we heard women in arguments with men say, "Mi will tell lie pon you and send you a prison. A ooman mi name!" An older woman told me she made this statement just last week to a man who gravely offended and embarrassed her.

If women know you will be arrested just on their word, what's stopping them from using that word as a weapon?