Hicken must apologize or resign – Rights Groups protest outside Police Station

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By Kurt Campbell

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Some of the protesters.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Several local Rights Groups this morning, Wednesday, November 19 protested outside the Brickdam Police Station where the Office of Police ‘A’ Division Commander Clifton Hicken is housed.

Calls were mounted for the Divisional Commander to issue an apology for statements he made in relation to rape earlier this week and if not, then he should resign.

Hicken came in for severe criticisms after he urged women and girls, particularly between the ages of 13 – 18, to always dress in a manner that is “morally acceptable” as a means of preventing this illegal act that has claimed the lives of several victims.

His statement sparked immediate and widespread condemnation from Political Parties, Rights Groups and individuals who felt that he was justifying the monstrous act.

Commander of 'A' Division, Clifton Hicken.
Commander of ‘A’ Division, Clifton Hicken.

With the support of the Force, Hicken has since said that his statements were taken out of context and that he had no intention to justify sexual assaults; adding that his statements were based on experience in interviewing suspects in sexual assault matters, as well as intelligence coming from discussions among elements of criminal groups regarding sexual assaults they would have committed.

Among the Groups that braved the rain in protest were Red Thread, Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Citizens Against Rape and Help and Shelter among others.

“He eyes pass me because he has no right to say what he said, he is a Police Commander so how can he justify rape by saying how women dress, I am making a demand for him to withdraw his statement. Furthermore I think he should resign,” one protester said.unnamed (1)

The women on the picket line called on the Guyana Police Force to explain to all women and children its support for Hicken’s statements even as they denounced the poor implementation of Sexual Offences Act and the low rate of successful rape prosecutions.

“It indicates that they know nothing about rape, the reasons behind it, why it occurs and the conditions within Guyana that allows it to happen,” one woman said; adding that “unless we have a Police Force that understands it then we have little confidence in getting any justice for rape victims and proper investigations and convictions .”

Some of the protesters.
Some of the protesters.

Also joining the women on the picket line was Rights Advocate Mark Benschop who said that more men should have been out there to lend support.

“We cannot have a senior police officer attempting to justify rape based on how a woman is dressed, it is unacceptable and he must offer an immediate apology and withdraw the statement,” Benschop said.

Another protester reasoned: “Ultimately what he is doing is blaming the victim and it is never acceptable to blame the victim for any crime committed against that individual. It doesn’t matter how she is dressed, there is no justification for any individual to violate a female must less the age range the Commander is talking about. The police is obviously ill equipped to deal with some aspects of crime and if this is his philosophy we can imagine what he says to the ranks and why when people go to the police they are treated so disgraceful and not given full respect.”

Some 50 females have been brutally raped already for 2014 in Guyana; which signals a spiraling increase from 2013 where 38 cases were recorded.

Last month alone, 11 persons were raped; representing a 31% increase when compared to the statistics for 2013.

24 COMMENTS

  1. even though it does not justify i still think women need to dress better i always compare the Muslims with other citizens. the Muslims don’t have to hear dirty remarks by men neither sexual advances from men they are respected. women need some moral and dignity

  2. It seems in Guyana when ever someone makes a statement to be morally uplifting we pounce on that person like a pit bull, sad Guyana has become a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.

  3. Hello concerned citizen, You”re my sister. You”re a lady of value! But may I remind you that there are men out there that are so morally bankrupt, that they would promote evil before good.

  4. Prem, you seems to understand what you read! When a general statement in made, it should be taken as a general statement! Please sir, I ask you to take some time to help your friend cAr. The gentle man reading ability seems to be affected, because his hearing ability is poor. What happens to “OPEN REBUKE IS BETTER THAN SECRET LOVE” ? Mr. Hicken is morally qualified to make that moral statement.Are we? I ask your friend what law has mr. Hicken violated?

  5. One needs to ask, ‘what could be the objective of a woman draping herself with pieces of cloth to emphasize certain areas of her body (clothes means items used to cover the body and these women are certainly not covered) Many a times if they walk a little fast their breast will come pelting out of the pieces of strings restraining them. The pants they wear are like unto paint being poured unto their bodies, leaving nothing to the imagination.They walk in such a manner which does nothing less than scream to man saying ‘look what i have to offer’ As a female also, it sickens and embarrasses me when I am found in the same public place as these poor excuse for females. They are nothing more than humans whose minds are invaded by the said legion demons whom Jesus cast out. No sane minded and morally upright person will condone, much less indulge in such disgraceful behaviour. However, we must remember that without God all will perish and it is no secret that the things our nation is so swift to embrace pushes God out of the picture daily. Thus, the decay in every aspect of our society . It is sad to see our society has eroded to such depths that an officer admonishing especially young girls to carry themselves in a dignified manner which will gain respect is misconstrued to mean that he is condoning the crime of rape. Officer Hicken is just like the rest of us who unreservedly denounce this heinous crime and agree that anyone guilty of rape must face the full force of the law. I am happy that there are still some amongst us who appreciates moral values. Guyana NEEDS more Officers Hicken. All those protester should be brought to face the courts for suggesting especially to young girls that indecency is correct and accepted. God bless you Officer Hicken, you should be proud of yourself for allowing Guyana and the world to see what these protesters, many of whom are supposed to be the role models of our society has to offer. Keep up the good work.

  6. You fail to understand the policeman concept of helping to prevent rape. Let’s look at a simple example, if you have to go to work and it is raining then you will protect your self so that you don’t get wet because you can get sick. I am sure Donald Ramotar or god will cover you with an umbrella. Likewise the policeman is simplying saying that a little more thinking should be done by women when selecting their clothing.

  7. These demonstrations are as a result of how low we have sunk as a nation, as a people morally and spiritually, what is so wrong about the good officer advising young ladies to carry themselves in a manner that is morally acceptable.We have the fire service to deal with fire so every home every office should throw out every fire fighting device because the fire fighters are there, I don’t think for one moment the officer was trying to justify rape, perhaps if women stop dressing in such a provocative manner it may help.

  8. Sanjay Pradeep ignorance is bliss . People like you , are the cause for ” Rape ” . All the Commander is asking , is not to dress to Provactive . It is Guyana , not the USA . Do you know how many ppl get rape daily worlwide , just because how the dress ? I mean no one wants to get raped , by the way the dress , but Predators are out there , and shit happens . So Prevention is better than cure . Rape and getting out alive is a nightmare , but unfortunately a lot of cases , the victim ends up dead . So to sum it up , don’t be too Provactive in Public , especially when you are alone .

  9. Weather the statement was good or bad, why can’t the citizen try to help prevent rape. These groups are telling the people to be lazy. They have no constructive approach but can blast whatever mechanism being utilise.

  10. Mr. Bricken, forgive me for asking, what proof do you have that many of the women raped weren’t dressed appropriately? Your statement is offensive, irresponsible, and disrespectful. There are men who have been, and are incarcerated for raping Prostitutes, why? because rape is a violation of a woman’s body, any woman. YOU NEED TO APOLOGIZE to all women, in the world.

  11. All of a sudden parts of Georgetown has become like a mental institution by the PNC people I can suggest to the Government that they take Jones town and put all those people who are playing mad. Now they want one of the better police officer resign, because he gave advice based on his experience. Among the PNC picketers, one of them contradict most of them. Her plack card reads, “POLICE DO YOUR WORK” That means, she is asking mr. Hickens to ignore all the bad elements. Another tells the rapist that “HOW WOMAN DRESS DON’T GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO RAPE” That one is telling us that there are lots of rapist among the protesters. Another uneducated one ask “WHERE IS THE SEXUAL OFFENCE LAW” Where is that law? Could it be that Basil Williams stole it? A PPP man told me that the law is still there!

  12. Mr Pradeep:
    Nice name for a PNC. I am jealous…smile.
    My mother dressed in a traditional Hindu garment.
    The females in my family carry themselves very well.
    If you think dressing loosely does not provoke and if you think dressing with a thong like Beyonce is cool, my brother, please do a bit more for your family.

  13. when leon james suseran said the way female teachers dressed they invite rape or something to that effect.
    well i gont tell you againrape ent got nothing to do with how any woman dressed even if she naked no man have no right to her body without consent.
    i think the lady DPP husband said something about women too and i ent see discrowd and de red thread crowd..
    pnc going after Hicken now..they went after rohee..they now going after the AG and the president and Hicken..

  14. Jon you’re such a crass would you blame your mother/sister/auntie or your lil fish self for getting rape because of your own personal choice you made while choosing an outfit ? this man is a complete idiot, the Rush Limbaugh of Guyana, and the lawless continues.

  15. I am not surprised by these politically align groups. Instead of attacking a policeman they should be building principles to tackle rape. Principles that could form the basis on which the police can utilize in their fight against rape and abuses.

  16. Commander Hicken is now targeted.
    These are political tools.
    If these people heard about the alleged rape of young Welshman by the Speaker and stayed quiet. They are nothing more than sinful.

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