Women's Issues In Guyana

Saving our children

Posted in Commentary by wiig on November 15, 2007
Tags: , , ,

Guyana Chronicle Editorial – November 15, 2007

GUYANA has been rocked in recent days by two events. The first is the rape and murder of nine- year old Sade Stoby, a resident of Mocha village on the East Bank of Demerara. The second is the case of an alleged serial abuser who had preyed on the pupils of a primary school in the heart of a Georgetown city.

The Sade Stoby case is particularly heart-rending and senseless – the youth of the victim and the youth of the two persons charged for this offence is enough to make anyone cynical about a belief in Divine purpose.

Sade was brutally attacked, violated and murdered while undertaking the most natural thing in the world for a nine year old primary school student, walking home from school; and that in a relatively small, close-knot and innocuous village.

In the case of the Ketley Primary School incident, this is evocative – in relative scale – of the Father Thomas Doyle case in the United States in which a Catholic priest raped scores, perhaps hundreds of children. That this situation has been going on for months, the organized and systematic luring, then rape and molestation of children, says volumes not only of the level of vigilance which exists not only in our school system but our society as a whole. This sort of sexual predation cannot be allowed to happen and whoever is responsible must bear the full force of the law.

The occurrence of these two events against the backdrop of the Sexual Offences consultation being carried out by the Ministry of Human Services underlines the need for such an activity being carried out in Guyana. Yet, the question may be asked about the efficacy of updated legislation in the prevention of atrocities like the case of Sade Stoby, as freakish and as random as this incident seemed. Would the young perpetrators have rethought their actions if the penalties which they most likely had no knowledge of had been greater? Indeed, would the alleged molester who targeted Ketley Primary School to fulfill his monstrous appetite have done any differently?

The likelihood is no, but at least there is the hope of justice being delivered to the guilty. Additionally, these two incidents are extreme in nature but are still in no way indicative of the full extent of the problem of sexual violence in Guyana. They in fact seem to represent the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Finally, one good that has come out of this is that a reputable international organisation, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has seen it fit to speak out strongly against what is going on in our society.

“We have to view this,” stated UNICEF Representative Mr. Johannes Wedenig, “as a call to action for all of us, everyone – the government, the private sector, NGOs, civil society and religious organisations, all citizens of Guyana – we have to ensure appropriate actions, systems and strategies are in place for our children to be protected. Not one more child should have to face such horrendous circumstances at the hands of inhuman perpetrators.”

The message is clear. This monstrosity must be arrested swiftly and irreversibly so that the most cherished resource of this world-our dear children must be secure and safe from these primitive predators.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: