Women In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Are They Safe There?

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As a native of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines I rather take pride on the picturesque beauty of our country and I strongly believe that this can be the best honeymoon destination for people who love to enjoy a serene honeymoon. The tourism industry of the country is flaring and soon it will become one of the most well known tourist destinations for the honeymooners! However, there is one grave issue that can come into the way of our country’s success as a tourist destination - the safety of women in the country!

Yes, safety of women in St. Vincent and Grenadines has become one of the most pressing issues! There have been a number of reported cases of violence against women in the recent past which include murder, rape and a series of sexual assault cases. Many of these cases were never brought to trials as a result a number of criminals are roaming around the country with their head held high. In a country that is trying to build its image as a honeymoon destination in the world of tourism, such atrocities against women can cause a major impact.

Can’t believe that our dear country has such a high rate of atrocities against women? Then, let’s get the facts right! In its 2008 Freedom in the World report, Freedom House mentioned that violence against women is one "major problem" in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Freedom House 2008).

If you go by the statistics offered by the United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the month of March 2007 report, our country has the third highest rate of reported incidents of rape in this world (UN / World Bank Mar. 2007, 12). This data was gathered by UNODC from a survey of police statistics in 102 countries. According to this data there is a recorded rate of 112 incidents of rape per 100,000 people in this country. While the average rate among all the 102 countries surveyed was 15 recorded incidents of rape per 100,000 people. So, one can easily understand how high the rate of atrocities against women in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The condition is pathetic over here!

Want to know even more? The United States (US) Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2007 states that the police authorities in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has investigated just 47 cases of rape and 8 cases of attempted rape. However, only 18 of these cases were ever brought to trial (US 11 Mar. 2008, Sec. 5)!!! How much negligence can the present government and the police authorities show on this pressing issue? One can only keep wondering!

But then again, in this country the Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves himself is corrupted and is accused of many sexual assault charges - what can you say to the others! The Prime Minister’s office represents the country in the international arena and if he himself is accused of such charges, it is sure to have a negative impact on the country! This can not only harm the reputation of the country but can also affect it economically. No couple might feel safe to spend their honeymoon in a country that has such high rate of atrocities against women. It is time for us to think – do we really need a government like this? Do we really need a rapist as a Prime Minister? We are equipped with the power to make the necessary changes! Let’s just give these a thought and act right on the Election Day.

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