There is a burning passion that sets a flame our innate but primitive desire for sexual intercourse. Unfortunately for humanity, a large cross section of our society fails or refuses to bring into submission this extremely strong passion, which is allowed to rage out of control. But instead, mankind has chosen to become willing slaves to the pleasurable flames that are trapped within them but viciously blaze out of control. Regrettably for human kind, the passions of sex have driven us to commit grievous atrocities in order to derive the fulfillment of, or to quiet the raging fire that burns within us.
For centuries, people of all ages, mental status and gender are raped, by those who are stronger than themselves; these victims have had their entire lives destroyed by people of uncontrolled passion, some binding themselves into groups to commit these shameful acts, imposing their defiling intentions on the community’s weak.
So strong was this passion that ancient cities such as pagan Roman, the mother of the Catholic Church, created indulgences in the form of a festival called Saturnalia. This festival, which was later modified and called Christmas, literally put aside the law for the period stretching from the 17th of December to the 23rd of the same month, where sexual atrocities were inflicted on the weak and unsuspecting with no means of redress, for this was the law that governed the festival Saturnalia.
Like all civilized communities of this era, St Vincent and the Grenadines is not without its problem of sexual crimes and criminals, who look for the weak and never fail to capitalize on imposing and inflicting upon them crimes of a sexual nature. In some cases, such allegations are not properly addressed and the alleged perpetrators are allowed to roam the country under the cloak or respectability; and continue to destroy the lives of the weak, the unsuspecting, the unfortunate.
This brought to mind published allegations of rape and sexual assault that were reported and brought before the court in private criminal proceedings against Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves by police officer Michelle Andrews and Margaret Parsons, a Vincentian-Canadian human rights lawyer, both alleged victims. Unfortunately, five years after the reports were made, these victims are still waiting for the police to begin their initial investigation and their day in court, which was denied them by a Ralph Gonsalves-controlled police force and prosecution department. There are many other cases of rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation that have been going in my little country by men in high political position.
It is said that Julie, a Vincentian international songstress, was also a victim of such sexual violation; however, the shame of her defilement drove her into a life of silence. So devastating was her shame that she could no longer participate in her favorite pastime, her melodious chords of love seemed to have forever disappeared. A life destroyed, a talent killed, another Vincentian forced to exist in a state of perpetual mental dishonour.
A story was told of a young girl, who was invited to the office of a Vincentian politician to discuss possible employment; unfortunately, the politician after manipulating the young girl and persuading her to have sexual intercourse with him, politely pointed her in the direction of his senior, another politician, giving her a note to take to his colleague. The curiosity of the young lady led her to open the envelope to view the content of the document. To her dismay she discovered within a confession of the minister’s sexual encounter with her, and he outlined how desperate the young person was to secure a job and her willingness to have sex to accomplish the same. The junior minister then informed his colleague it was now his turn to have sex with the youth. What type of deviant mind will think of such thing or of commit such social atrocities upon their constituent?
Another story is told of a farmer who plied his trade in Georgetown in St Vincent and the Grenadines. As a result of the farmer’s vigilance, he discovered that he had a banana tree with one of its suckers stricken with black Sigatoka, and investigation revealed that both plants had the same source infection. The infection was traced back to the Chief Agricultural Officer. Further investigation revealed that agricultural officer was careless in his dealing with the plants (the parent and its offspring). It is believed that the agricultural professional failed to use gloves when dealing with the plants or he failed to change his gloves, thus contaminating both plants. Instead of the ministry giving the farmer a reward for his effort in catching the source of infection before this costly disease was spread to other farms and contaminated the entire nation’s crop of banana, the poor farmer was kicked out of the agriculture program for trying to cause trouble.
A story is also told of one of the island prima donnas (Italian for first lady). This prima donna was a beautiful, trusting and talented lass, who was bursting with untapped potential; unfortunately for this lass, all of her potential bashed against the wall of influential sexual abuse and with the fall of her abuser’s erection, so did her talents fall and were smashed into pieces on the floor of contempt and shame. Today, this physical beauty is only a mental shell of what she used to be.
All the cases above are alleged incidents of sexual violence that have altered the life and potential of citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines. What is so wrong and shameful is that all of the offences were committed by men who were aspiring to political office or were trusted by the masses of the Vincentian to hold political office.
There was an incident where a paid volunteer who decided to stay in her post at the request of the new manager. Her assignment was to feed the hungry and this paid volunteer was good at what she did. Unfortunately, her marriage came to a grinding halt, when my supervisor discovered that the paid volunteer became the sacrificial lamb on the altar of immorality, where the hungry delighted himself daily.
In anticipation of the reply of my critics, I must ask what if these victims were your sisters, brother or what if the victim was you. Let it be known that very often victims of the aggressor are normally the first to come to his or defence. This is so, because the outing of the perpetrators means their long held secret is no longer safe.
Yes, I know exposing these evils looks bad, and it reflects poorly on every Vincentian, including me. What is the alternative? To sit back in silence while our sons and daughters are sexploited and raped, without a verbal objection from anyone or with no one to stand in their defense or in support of them? No, this attitude must change. It is time for our nation to heal; it is time for the light of right, truth, honesty and justice to once more shine down upon my country and people, but more importantly it is time for you to man up and stand up against evil in all of its forms.
Shame on you, who fail to display the mental strength that make us men, shame on you who’d rather kill the compassion that makes you woman but instead embrace the folly of tomfoolery; laughing at the pain of others. This is no time for apathy, indifference or a lack of concern; I tell you, very soon, you will be called up before the court in its moral jurisdiction on conspiracy charges; charges which carry the same penalty as if you had committed the offences yourself.
In closing, I say, Almighty and supreme God: Yahweh, I beg that you forgive the sexual aggressors and those who encourage them with their silence. I also beg that you give their victims the power to come from behind the cloak of fear and secrecy to regain control of their life. But most of all, let my conscience squeeze me if I become afraid, overpowered by silence and refuse to speak on behalf of those who are weaker than I am. I submit these requests in the name of your son, my lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.