The Caribbean Committee Against Sex Crimes (CCASC) would like to take the opportunity to use the recent allegations of sexual assault levied against Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump to highlight issues relating to victims of sex crime.
While Mr Donald Trump has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty we at the CCASC would like to emphasise the importance of supporting victims when they come forward with allegations of sexual assault.
According to the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2010-2014 (2015) Only 344 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. Two-thirds of sex crimes in the USA, therefore, go unreported.
Victims of sex crime face incredible barriers to breaking their silence but thankful there are numerous victims support organisations in the United States.
As we are seeing those victims who came forward in the media recently are facing accusations and incredible public scrutiny. Our hearts go out to those women who are undergoing these hardships in an effort to tell their story.
Unfortunately, in the Caribbean the quality of victims’ support available is not nearly as advanced as it is in the United States. However, a similar narrative is often heard in the Caribbean: a powerful man uses his authority to solicit or coerce sexual favours from persons within their control. Victims of these sexual assaults may be men or women, boys or girls.
We would like to encourage those victims who can break their silence and seek to prosecute their abuser without risking life and limb to do so. The more sex offenders we put behind bars the safer our societies will become.
We would like to encourage the legislative, political and business leaders of the Caribbean to provide more support for organisations that seek to support victims of sex crimes. The benefit will be two-fold, victims get assistance in restoring their lives and the number of convictions of sex offenders will rise resulting in a safer society for all.
In conclusion, we would like to extend an invitation to all stakeholders who are willing to partner with us towards achieving the goal of a regional sex offenders registry in the Caribbean and a general reduction in sex crimes.
Caribbean Committee Against Sex Crimes