By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) protested at the Ministry of Health’s Brickdam location today, Wednesday, October 08, over what they deemed as the insensitive and unfair treatment of a rape victim.
The protest was spearheaded by Red Thread and supported by the Amerindian People’s Association (APA), Gay Rights advocacy group SASOD, Guyana Trans United and private citizens who are all calling for justice for the Amerindian woman, who claimed she was sexually violated by two popular businessmen in the interior location.
These NGOs said they were pushed to protest against the injustice after the police were seemingly taking sides with the perpetrators and recommendations were made by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to charge one of the men with assault instead of rape.
Co-Chair of SASOD, Joel Simpson, who was on the frontline of the protest, said they are horrified at the unfolding of the incident right after the woman was raped.
“We are here before the Ministry of Health this week because no rape kit was available in the Hospital and that’s a violation of rights in itself, a violation of the right to health; the young lady could have been exposed to sexually transmitted virus, reports are that she was not able to access post exposure prophylactic even with all the millions spent on HIV in this country. Every hospital should have rape kits, it is essential if we are going to have proper investigations into this matter.”
He believes that the lack of proper evidence recording and delivering by the Police Force is another area of challenge that has to be resourced more adequately if sexual violence victims are to receive justice.
“The state is not providing people with the resources they need, every hospital should have a rape kit in this country, sexual violence is a serious thing in this country and that is why many people who were abused sexually do not report the matter, because the justice system is slow and in many cases they do not receive justice.”
Meanwhile, member of the APA, Michael McGarrel said that in many instances victims are usually violated twice and the second time it is by the justice system.
He noted that the unavailability of rape kits is a common feature in the interior region and it is not something they can continue to accept.
The alleged rape victim broke her silence last Friday in condemnation of her attackers and the role members of the Guyana Police Force played in protecting the alleged perpetrators.
The Amerindian mother of one explained that she was drugged and brutally raped by two popular businessmen in her community on September 27. She claims she knows who they are.
According to the woman, she was in a room, when one of the men entered and forced himself on her. She believes that she was drugged, as she claimed that she fell asleep, only to wake up and find another man having sex with her.
The woman, who is a domestic worker, said she tried to fight off her attackers but could not manage because she felt weak.
“He take off my clothes and started to have sex with me, I told him not to do it but he still keep on doing it”, she said.
She said she was severely bitten by the men. Following the incident, she said she told a co – worker, who took her to the hospital and the police station.
They were both brought to Georgetown by President of the Women Miner’s Association, Simona Bromes.