By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Social Protection has pledged to tackle rape head on as there more instances of the scourge being reported to local law enforcement officials.
The Ministry is also looking to make the offence a non bail-able one.
In April, the Guyana Police Force released statistics which indicated an alarming 62% increase in the amount of rape crimes when compared to the first three months in 2014.
Then at the end of May 2015, the Guyana Police Force recorded a 10% increase in serious crimes in comparison to the same period in 2014. Rape is among the serious crimes policed by the Force.
It should be noted that while these figures are alarming, most rape cases go unreported because of the stigma and discrimination attached to it in Guyana’s society.
The Sexual Offences Act was passed in the National Assembly in 2010; however since then there has been no real implementation of the Act that would give victims the justice they need.
Junior Minister of Social Protection, Simona Broomes during an exclusive interview with iNews, expressed her disgust with the scourge while promising a more frontal approach to the issue in Guyana’s society.
Pointing to the implementation of the Act, Broomes made it clear that “these are some of the things that have to be done, it has to be done,” contending that the Ministry will step up its efforts in this regard.
“Rape is nothing that would be overlooked under this administration,” Broomes told iNews. She also pointed out the clear and present circumvention of the law when parents/guardians choose to settle such matters outside of the courts, hence the alleged rapist walks scotch free.
“We have to move to a process where the State takes the matter to the court and not the victim. So that we will say to these girls who are being raped and these women with domestic violence and all of that – listen you belong to the State; you are our responsibility – we take it out of the hand of the parent,” said the Junior Social Protection Minister.
“This is something I think we have to look at closely as a government…rape should not be a bail – able offence. It damages that child for life…I think this whole issue of rape has been such a gray area, it has to be given careful thought,” the Minister added.