On Sunday morning, when thousands of other women were looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day,” a 23-year-old hairdresser was receiving treatment at Victoria Hospital.
A couple hours earlier she had been raped at gunpoint and subjected to other unspeakable abuses by three men from whom she had accepted a ride home.
It comes as no surprise that the latest rape victim has not reported her ordeal to the police. Few victims of sexual abuse bother to complain even to relatives, convinced as they are that they will only be making things worse for themselves. Those in a position to do, take flight at the first opportunity.
In Saint Lucia these days it takes years before rape cases reach a judge and jury. More often than not, victims are coerced into withdrawing charges, even though rape is perhaps the crime most often committed here.
In the latest incident, the young woman’s abusers threatened to have her shot if she contacted the police. But although no such threats were directed at hospital personnel, they too have failed to notify the cops.
Meanwhile, in St Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucian-born trial judge Lorraine Williams, a former gender affairs minister and attorney general, not to say a staunch advocate of women’s rights, last week sentenced a convicted rapist to 38 years behind bars.