Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Men, women need you in the struggle!

The week saw candle light vigils and people calling for the hang man noose to be used again and placards on the uniforms of the Inter- Col team from Carriacou, as another little girl was found dead who allegedly was raped. Her step father has since been charged with Non-Capital Murder for intentionally causing the death of 14-year-old Esther Patterson by unlawful harm. In recent times isn’t that incident the third little girl to die under those circumstances? Grenada, we can’t have this! Our children need protection to live and grow in peace. Thank God the number is still low but everything must be done now, to stop the suffering of little girls.

As we remember, there was 15-year-old Robby-Ann Jeremiah for whose death a 60-year-old Spiritual Baptist Bishop -Edmond Gilbert was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging by a Vincentian Judge -Justice Othneil Sylvester. He was found guilty by a mixed Jury of strangling the teenage girl in 2001 between January 31 and February 01 when she went missing. However, that sentence was later changed to time in prison and he died shortly after being released.

Then there is the case of 8-year-old Ariel Bhola who was found dead November 17, 2017. A jury found 19-year old Twely Joseph, her neighbour, guilty of the 2017 rape and murder. Autopsy report showed that she died as a result of asphyxiation, post trauma and sexual assault.

Although a local lawyer said that he has confessed, if Esther’s step father is found guilty by the court of law, it would mean that they were all killed by people whom they were familiar with.

There are reports that Robby-Ann ran for her life, but she had nowhere to hide from Gilbert who was a friend of her family. Little Ariel, according to reports, was left alone at home for long hours after school and therefore was vulnerable. Now, there are people who seem to know about the conditions under which Esther existed at her home which seemed to be unsafe, yet they made no reports to the authorities. It seems that we have a penchant to simply gossip on serious issues instead of dealing with them in serious ways. Let’s make a change people! We owe it especially to our children.

We are aware that times have changed and culture and habits are no longer like the days of old, when the entire village looked out for the children, the elderly and all who were deemed vulnerable. In those days, when a village brought up a child it was quite safe for children to play outside together until parents came home from work. Sadly, those days are long gone leaving parents alone with their responsibilities and to come to terms with today’s world. A perfect setting, was when grandparents lived with children and grandchildren in the same home. But, with homes for senior citizens becoming a thriving business, senior citizens are now separated from their younger generations which seems to be causing a great divide between the young and the old.

However, Prime Minister Hon Dickon Mitchell seems very fond of his good fortune of growing up with his grandmother, as he reveals on occasions, some of the virtues she passed on to him which are probably partly responsible for his success in life. Wouldn’t it be good for more young people to get that rich experience? The point here is that things can be worked out differently rather than children existing in unsafe conditions while sadly, neighbours simply just mind their own business.

In a recent press conference, Prime Minister Mitchell showed great concern for our young people and called for ideas on how to make a better world for them. But unfortunately, Sir, the penalties for perpetuators when found guilty are not serving as a deterrent as was expressed in a letter to our editor last week on International Women’s Day. The writer made reference to the “fancy talk” on radio programmes as being a waste of time as women and girls continue to be raped and men continue to spend a short time in prison. The letter suggested that the powers that be must have boots on the ground as during the Revolution, to get a true picture of what’s going on in some homes. Children are the wards of the state until they are 18-years-old, so where is the Child Welfare Authority’s pro-active plan? Is the Authority still relying on neighbours to make reports when the days for that are long gone?

An article from the woman’s arm of the New National’s Party (NNP) on the death of the little girl in Carriacou, points to what maybe the problem. Why should that issue be addressed by the women’s arm alone and not the entire NNP as was the death of Jonty? Leaving women alone to fight the problems they face maybe contributing to the female sex being abused as they are seen as alone and vulnerable. Fathers, make yourselves relevant in the scheme of things! Don’t just look out for your own, cast an eye outside of your circle and watch out for other children which will help your karma. We’ve heard of Esther having a step-father; but isn’t there a father for that lovely little girl somewhere out there? Where were you when she needed you most?

The next public demonstration on the streets when women march to show their disgust over issues, we need to see some positive men coming out in support. The fairer sex must not be left alone!

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