Lorraine Williams is a modern-day hero. In St Kitts and Nevis, she is being lauded for having handed a convicted, unconscionable rapist a 38-year sentence. This apology for a human being had carried out his egregious crime against his defenseless victim at knifepoint, without a condom, and also assaulted her husband.
An elated Director of Public Prosecutions, Travers Sinanan, was quoted as saying: “It’s heartening to see the judge deliver a sentence so robust that it sends a message to all would-be sex offenders and all who have committed offences.” Back in her native Saint Lucia, Williams’ countrymen are wondering whether the former attorney general and women’s affairs minister’s tough as nails approach would curb the growing onslaught of sexual assaults here at home.
This past Thursday morning, pedestrians traversing St Louis Street were horrified to discover a woman, believed to be between fifty and sixty years old, in a state of confusion, blood pouring out of her vagina. As has become quite typical since the justice minister’s scare tactics against Timothy Poleon, reporters are being especially careful how they report the unspeakable assault.
Meanwhile, there is the story that her attackers had shoved either a broomstick or a piece of metal up the victim’s vagina, which accounted for her blood on the pavement as seen on TV on Thursday evening.
Residents of the area where the crime occurred are particularly disturbed by the gruesome incident. Cynthia Lubin described the complex as “a tale of two cities.”
“In the day it’s very beautiful to walk that street,” she said, “but at nighttime it’s horrible. I went to the station and asked them to get police to patrol but my pleas have been ignored. Most of the street lights don’t work.”
The latest reported incident follows the rape of a Dennery woman on May 11. Sources say the young woman had earlier accepted a ride from a male in the Richfond vicinity. Once inside the vehicle, she discovered the presence of two other men who had concealed themselves in the vehicle’s back seat. The woman was dragged at gunpoint into the dense shrubbery of Grand Ravine, where she was subjected to the most gruesome and dehumanizing attack by the devilish trio.
Of course these are just two of the countless rape cases still unresolved on the island. Sadly, unpursued rapes are commonplace here, where raped women are blamed for their violations suffered. Little wonder that the vast majority of sexual assaults are unreported.
With a woman at the helm of our health ministry, shouldn’t sexual assault victims be guaranteed a more empathetic ear? When will the much-hyped forensic lab finally stop resembling an oasis mirage in the desert: the tempting lure of thirst-quenching justice which ultimately proves nonexistent.
On St Louis Street, the viscous splotches of blood on the sidewalk told their own horror story. And while the victim’s physical wounds are being tended to by the staff at VH, the question remains: For how much longer will raped Helen continue to bleed?