Thu | Jul 2, 2020

Full Text | Chuck says sorry for ‘insensitive behaviour’ during debate on sexual harassment

Published:Monday | June 29, 2020 | 10:06 AM
Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck - File photo

Facing strong public backlash, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has issued an apology and is asking for forgiveness over his actions at a parliamentary committee meeting discussing proposed sexual harassment legislation.

Chuck has been heavily criticised after indicating that he believed that sexual harassment should be reported within 12 months and laughed as he expressed the view that Jamaica should avoid bringing the #MeToo movement here.

READ: Chuckling dismissal of #MeToo blasted

#MeToo is a global movement, which was started in the United States, which has called sexual harassers to book for decades of exploitation.

The justice minister apologised, in the third person on Twitter, on Saturday, but that did not quell the outrage that has been growing since last week with some critics calling for Chuck’s resignation.

In a statement today, Chuck said his action was “inappropriate” and “I deeply regret what upon reflection, was insensitive behaviour on my part, and I unreservedly and sincerely apologise.”

“I ask for the public's forgiveness and commit to championing the cause and concerns of our women and to be an ally and an advocate representing fully and fairly the women of Jamaica,” he added.

Full Statement

Last week, while making a contribution at the Joint Select Committee on Sexual Harassment, I made an inappropriate statement regarding the time period for making complaints.

I deeply regret what upon reflection, was insensitive behaviour on my part, and I unreservedly and sincerely apologise.

I am personally concerned and troubled by the level of harassment and torment women have had to endure and continue to endure. This harassment is pervasive and makes it more of an imperative for the passage of the Sexual harassment bill which deals solely with civil protection of persons in an employment and institutional setting.

I acknowledge and sympathise with the hurt and the trauma experienced by persons who are victims of harassment or any form of sexual abuse for which there is no statute of limitation.

I commit and assure everyone who has been concerned by my utterance, that my conduct in Committee meetings and otherwise, will reflect the fact that I do not seek to diminish the importance of this issue.

I always advocate for women to be treated with dignity and respect and I believe in a society where women are never objectified or exploited.

My comments last week did not convey this personal and professional truth and for that I am also deeply sorry.

I ask for the public's forgiveness and commit to championing the cause and concerns of our women and to be an ally and an advocate representing fully and fairly the women of Jamaica.

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