[www.inewsguyana.com] –The main Opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – has wasted no time in denouncing comments made by Police Commander Clifton Hicken; admonishing girls and women not to dress in any manner that encourages rape/ sexual violence.
“While we try to prevent somebody from committing the offence we must ensure that we do not create an atmosphere for it to happen,” Hicken had said; adding that “and that is why we advocate for young females within a certain age group who are vulnerable, between 13 – 18, to always embrace an attire that is accepted morally.”
In response, the APNU reaffirmed that rape is wrong and remains a violent crime; adding that Hicken’s comments sends a message to victims of rape that they were somehow responsible for the violence meted out to them.
“These remarks attributed to a senior police officer show clearly the need for education at all levels of the force to sensitize ranks on this most heinous crime,” the APNU added in a statement.
The Party says police officers must be educated to know that rapists are not overcome with sexual desire or that a woman who is raped may have dressed too seductively or “asked for it” in some manner.
“These ideas assume that rape is only a sexual act, a crime that is motivated by desire. It is not. Rape is a violent crime, a hostile act, and an attempt to hurt and humiliate another person,” the APNU statement noted; adding that “sex is used as a weapon, and rapists use that weapon against women, strangers and acquaintances of all ages, races and body types.”
Hicken said some 50 females have been brutally raped already for 2014, as he cautioned women not to dress in a manner that encourages this illegal act that has claimed the lives of a few victims.
In 2013, some 38 persons were reportedly raped. Last month alone, 11 persons were raped; representing a 31% increase when compared to the statistics for 2013.
The ‘A’ Division Commander says the issue is now on the “front burner” of issues to be addressed in his division.
On the note of prevention, the Commander urged women and girls to always dress in a manner that is “morally acceptable.”