by Linda Straker
- Humphrey calls country’s sexual-related crimes statistics an epidemic
- Carnival activities and radio stations programming promote sexual objectivisation of women
President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey is of the belief that the lyrics in certain genres of music are contributing to the growing statistics of sexual-related offences in the country. At the same time, he has named carnival activities and radio stations programming as enabling institutions of that kind of behaviour.
“They promote the sexual objectivisation of women. The lyrics are essentially an instruct in sexual anatomy and it is played openly,” Humphrey said, speaking on the adjournment of Wednesday’s sitting of the Upper House.
Humphrey is of the opinion that music played on radio stations prepare young men to see women for only one thing. “There is little wonder that we have this explosion of sexual crimes because people are conditioned,” he said, pointing out that there are no rating agencies nor enforcement of decency laws.
Elaborating on the opinion about the role of carnival in promoting sexual crimes, Humphrey said that the State, through Carnival, encourages and promotes public indecency.
“We take State funds and give it to something called a mas’ band that violates all our public decency laws, and we award them band of the year with taxpayers’ money to be indecent,” said Humphrey. He expressed his pity that Norland Cox, Minister for Culture and Art was not present at the sitting.
Humphrey who has continuously raised his concerns about the breakdown of social and moral traditions describes the island’s sexual-related crimes statistics as an epidemic. “I have never witnessed anything equal to what is happening now. Parliament has a responsibility; parliament has a responsibility to the citizens and to the constitution. The role of parliament is to pass laws for the good governance, for the safety and wellbeing of its citizens,” he said.
He called for a review of recent matters in which a 41-year-old man received a suspended one year sentence and a fine of EC$3,200 for indecently assaulting a minor by engaging in oral sex while she was between the age of 3 and 4. The child is presently 5. “This is not an attack on the judiciary because I am still investigating the fact if whether or not there was objective limitation to fit the offence in respect of the punishment. The pendulum has swung too far in favour of the criminal,” he said.
Informing the parliament that he is profoundly disturbed by the outcome of the matter which was heard in the magistrate court, Humphrey said that there is evidence indicating that there is more sympathy in favour of the criminal today.
Referring to a regional matter, he spoke about an individual who was just released from an American prison. “He was caught in their system with cocaine and I was shocked to hear the news this week that the person arrived in Trinidad this week for some cultural activity and the police, on the basis of probable cause, executed a search warrant,” he said.
“What worries me is that individual is being peddled as a hero and so the police commissioner now issues an apology to the police executing its function on the principle of probable cause. What is happening to Caribbean civilisation?” he said.
Calling for women to come out and protest about the social scourge and how some of them are treated in the justice system, Humphrey said too many times society, including parliamentarians, just go into hibernation on such matters after a period of open grievance.
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