by Dr Neals J Chitan
Over the past days, our internationally acclaimed social skill concept has been headlining in the news media here in Grenada.
“Project STOP ‘n’ THINK-Mt. Horne 2021” spectacular media graduation of 43 youth and young adults has been showcasing our community empowerment work in this so-called socially underprivileged community. Displaying our “Always STOP and THINK before you PROCEED” slogan on their T-Shirts, our graduates proudly committed to socially re-branding their community from a crime-infested hot spot, to a place of peace and tranquility, where police would come and encourage rather than enforce.
Although the target-focused emphasis of “Project STOP ‘n’ THINK” is on quenching the fires of guns, gangs and drugs at a community and national level, there are other areas of criminality that can be directly addressed with this simple yet powerful mantra, if well understood. You see, this concept is designed to cause you to pause a moment and think about the consequences you can face if you do not pre-think your actions and reactions. It reminds you that you will pay for the hurt and trauma you may inflict on others if you lead a life driven by mere impulse and passion. Not only is our STOP and THINK warning so dominant in the Grenadian media during the last few days, but so are the painful consequences of not STOPPING and THINKING by perpetrators of sexual assaults on our children and women.
The crude powerful sexual passion of humans if left in its untrained state, while being further fuelled by graphic pornographic images and episodes can become so all-consuming that it can totally incapacitate the conscience and cause the human being to indulge in the most debased and sub-human behavior ever imagined.
These shocking results we see as one-time shut closet doors swing open and so-called white-collar professionals and public servants are caught with their pants down in the media, with handcuffs on their wrists. We think about the respect they commanded, the positions they filled and the lifestyle they enjoyed, and wonder how they were able to live a “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” existence so undetected. We watch their sad demeanour as they are led in and out of court hearings and almost feel sorry for them and their pending consequences rather than feeling sorry for the pain, hurt and trauma caused on their victims.
If only they had STOPPED and THOUGHT of the emotional pain to their victims. If only their consciences were awakened. If only the shattered self-esteem of victims were considered. Furthermore, if only they had STOPPED and THOUGHT of the steep descent from professional to prison life. But, with a foolish idea thoughtlessly changing into an occurrence and further changing into a practice, they are quickly caught in a downward slide, selfishly enjoying every minute without any regard for the feelings and pain of their victims. A behaviour that justice demands that they now MUST pay dearly for!!
Sadly, this is when must humans THINK, when they are STOPPED! When we stare at the painful impact we have caused and the consequences we face, we begin thinking and conscience returns, leaving us wondering how we could have done such evil. But it is too late! Someone is hurting and left to live a broken life, while we beg for judicial mercy facing the consequences of our actions.
On Thursday, 20 May 2021 I looked at the court docket posted outside of the Grenville Magistrate Court where Madam Justice Nevlyn John was about to sit. Of these 21 charges on her docket, 13 were sexual charges with all adult male perpetrators on minors. WOW! And we talking about Covid-19 pandemic, eh?
What we need in Grenada and the Caribbean region is a re-wiring of the male thinking! This issue although dominant in the Spice Isle is not resident here only. Many of the Caribbean islands where I have worked are experiencing similar issues and need that re-wiring of the male thinking also.
Even if I do believe that there are neurological issues that can create a warped sexual desire and passion in individuals, I believe that most cases we see in the Caribbean have their roots in poor socialising and bad male modelling factors. Male traditions and expectations are still dominant and passed on from generation to generation, with the role of females only as sexual objects. In one dominant Caribbean culture, men actually said to me in an on-the-block discussion that their mantra is, “as soon as the chest rises, it’s time to pick the fruit,” by the way, referring to little girls who begin puberty, being ready for sex.
Until we are ready to STOP and THINK and help our boys and girls un-learn the prevalent views and ill effects of our 21st century sex-crazed living and re-learn the importance of RESPECT for the sanctity of other people’s bodies, opinions, decisions and property, we will keep following down the path to a new abased normal where sexual assaults and abuse are nothing much to worry about, and simply met with just a slap on the wrist.
I am proud that at “Project STOP ‘n’ THINK” we teach individuals the importance of deliberately STOPPING and THINKING about the possible consequences of uncontrolled sexual feelings while also teaching them how to redirect the energy into better outcomes.
Remember, if you don’t STOP and THINK about it, you will pay for it!!
Dr Neals Chitan is an International Social Skill Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist who holds a PhD in Social and Behavioural Sciences and currently works in Grenada. He is the President/Founder of Motiv-8 For Change International a Toronto-based Social Skill Agency and can be reached from North America at 647-692-6330 and locally 473-416-8377 or at [email protected]