DNA: Minister’s comment placed the blame for a sexual offence upon the minor

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On November 25th each year, we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Yesterday, the Minister with responsibility for Gender Affairs, who had the opportunity to use this platform to raise awareness for the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, chose instead to make comments that placed the blame for a sexual offence upon the minor, perpetuating the victim blaming and rape culture that has had deleterious effects on our women and youth.

The remarks made by the MP came at a time when all across the globe, governments and organizations are fighting to raise awareness, increase funding, respond to and collect life-saving data for the elimination of violence against women and girls.

“The innocence of youth must be protected and Antiguan and Barbudan women and girls deserve better representation from our leaders” says 2018 DNA Candidate, Kimberly Grant. Overall, we are encouraging the leaders, especially the male leaders of this country be more responsible in their utterances and using their platforms to uplift and promote gender equality and participation of women and girls in all spheres of society.

Our aim should be a violence free Antigua and Barbuda and to achieve that, we must hold ourselves and our leaders accountable for their statements and actions.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. ah wha yah..dem wake up!!! Come join d bandwagon.

    DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule that contains the genetic code of organisms. This includes animals, plants, protists, archaea and bacteria.

  2. A few questions for the good lady, Leader of the DNA.
    Do you consider under sixteen school girls who engàge in sexual intercourse with older boys/men as victims or as active, willing participants?
    Are ALL older boys/men who engage in sexual intercourse with minors below the age of sixteen guilty of committing statutory rape, a serious crime in A&B?
    Should ALLsuch older boys/men be immediately arrested and charged for rape?
    Do you think that parents who conspire with their sons to deny justice to underaged victims by spiriting them away from the jurisdiction and/or bribing or threatening the victim and/or her parents should also be arrested and face equally serious charges?
    These sre some of the issues that were raised by MP Jonas in yesterday’s TV interview but which, of course, got lost in the feather storm that followed.
    Sadly, whatever the motivation, consensual sex involving minor girls and older boys/men is a reality in A&B. FORTUNATELY, our laws, the Laws of A&B make it pellucid. Sex with minor girls under the age of sixteen, whether consensual or taken by force CONSTITUTES RAPE. The MP was NOT condoning consensual rape where the female is a minor under sixteen. In fact it was just the opposite and you know it.
    As a mother yourself, you need to be more fair, honest and circumspect in your pronouncements on this topic and your disingenious criticisms of MP Jonas.

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