Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Letter of the Day | Take decisive stand against child sex crimes

Published:Wednesday | August 29, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It is heartbreaking to hear of the tragic death of 14-year-old Yetanya Francis, who was mutilated after being raped last Thursday by men within her community of Arnett Gardens.

It is uncanny that this homicide is the straw that broke the camel's back, after a series of crimes similar to this against young women and girls within the community and elsewhere since last year.

It is even more uncanny that we have forgotten that a similar case ensued a year before when 12-year-old Micholle Moulton was shot in her community Zimbabwe, Arnett Gardens, after reportedly refusing the sexual advances of men within the community.

Lest we forget, last month

13-year-old Shanoya Wray was found decomposing in the home of the man who poured a corrosive substance over her body to get rid of the remains. How can we forget the gruesome killing of nine-year-old Kadijah Saunders who was found in bushes in Westmoreland after being assaulted?

How many more names will it take for CISOCA, the arm of the police force mandated to ensure efficient and effective investigation into allegations of abuse, to get it right? How many more stories will it take for the Government to integrate a fight against acts of sexual violence as part of their "effective crime plan"?

 

GENDER-BASED ISSUE

 

The Ministry of National Security seems to think that only shootings, theft, the war on drugs and corruption are deemed worthy of being part of their crime plan, but when will we root out the evil men within communities who continue to catcall, assault and perpetrate gruesome acts of sexual violence.

Sexual violence is, in part, a gender-based issue. However, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is not mandated to develop strategies that will curb crime against young women and girls who stand vulnerable. Until we realise this, these stories will continue to surface.

Finally, to the residents of these affected communities, say their names, draw them out and break the silence - only you can save the next set of Yetanyas, Micholles, Shanoyas, Kadijahs, and many more names out there.

MX WILLIAMS

Youth Advocate

mikhailwilliamsart@gmail.com