Sep 19, 2023


Hon. Maxine Seymour

Senator, The Opposition

NEW PROVIDENCE, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas has become increasingly unsafe for women and girls due to alarming acts of rape, especially targeting the elderly and children, deeply shocking our community. My heart goes out to the victims and their families during this challenging time. No child should fear playing outdoors or any elderly person relaxing at home, facing such danger.

As a country, we must condemn these heinous acts and take collective action to prevent future atrocities. I urge law enforcement and the justice system to thoroughly investigate these cases and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice, punishing them to the fullest extent of the law. No more leniency for these monsters who show no mercy to their victims. Repeat offenders and pedophiles pose an even greater threat to society; bail should not be an option for them.

In June, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe reported a concerning 64 percent increase in rape reports on New Providence in the first five months of 2023, compared to the previous year.

Despite united calls from local grassroots organizations and women’s rights groups, the government seems to be ignoring their pleas for immediate action, opting to advance the Protection Against Violence Bill, 2023, instead of the comprehensive Gender-Based Violence Bill developed over a decade.

These local women’s groups have highlighted the new bill’s shortcomings, lacking key provisions for protecting women and girls.

The government should listen to its citizens, including experts from various fields, to address these critical issues properly.

Rape is a heinous crime inflicting severe physical, emotional, and psychological trauma on survivors, violating human rights and individual dignity.

We must be our sister’s keeper and remain vigilant about potential crimes. If you suspect criminal behavior, report it to the authorities, even if it involves family members. Society’s safety outweighs concerns about breaking family trust.

We all must stand against sexual violence and create a society where every individual can live without fear, allowing children to safely thrive.

If you or someone you know needs support as a survivor of sexual violence, call The Bahamas Crisis Centre’s 24-hour hotline at (242) 328-0922 for confidential assistance.

July 30, 2023

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