St. Lucia PM pushes for rape unit, considers Sex Offenders List on heels of sex attacks

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Wednesday March 29, 2016 – Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has expressed concern about the recent spike in rapes and has promised to ensure that police implement his suggestion to establish a dedicated unit to investigate rapes and bring perpetrators to justice.

He says authorities must also explore the possibility of creating Sex Offenders List, and should start by looking at the experience of other countries that have moved in that direction.

In a message following the recent spate of rapes, the St. Lucian leader says he feels a deep sense of outrage, revulsion and anger.

“It is true that there have been many incidents of rape in the past, many of which have never been reported, but why is it that some men have suddenly felt emboldened to commit these crimes in recent times?” he questioned.

“It is clear that strong laws with stiff penalties are not enough. We have to look for other solutions.”

In addition to proposing the dedicated rape unit and Sex Offenders List, Dr. Anthony said there needs to be a review of how rape victims give evidence in court.

“It is not right that a victim of rape has to undergo such trauma in giving evidence before a judge and jury. Giving evidence is a dehumanizing and traumatic experience. Should rape cases be heard before a jury?” he said, noting that suggestions that had been put on the table, including legalizing the use of pepper spray.

The Caribbean Committee Against Sex Crimes has commended Dr. Anthony’s “forward thinking” suggestion of a special rape unit, describing it as “brilliant”.

It said it is ready and willing to partner with the St. Lucia government to assist in the implementation of that unit, the Sex Offender List/Registry, and any other policies it brings to the table.
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