Gale Rigobert stated that, As Minister with responsibility for Gender Relations and as a citizen of Fair Helen, I would like to express my most profound hate over the recent spate of violence against all women.”
Furthermore, Minister Rigobert added, Previous week, there was a report of the rape of a woman in Jacmel. Then on Saturday, we learned of discovering the naked body of a woman, the victim of the most extreme form of gender-based violence. This has rightfully sparked outrage throughout society.
According to Minister Rigobert, Both acts are reprehensible and should never be condoned. The femicide, though itself horrendous and unimaginable, is accompanied by the equally despicable widespread circulation of the image of this victim within minutes of the discovery of her lifeless body at Pigeon Island.
Increased incidence of more extreme forms of gender-based violence like femicide, and the apparent desensitization of our citizens to the horror of violence, underscores the grim reality that deeply rooted inequalities and harmful gender norms continue to permeate our society.
Furthermore, Minister Rigobert stated, “My plea to the general public is for us to demonstrate a sense of community by each person finding their voice to advocate for and looking out for our most vulnerable. I am also calling on everyone to step up our collective efforts, to strongly condemn all acts of gender-based and other forms of violence on our beautiful island.”
Through the Department of Gender Relations and other agencies, the Government has made strides in ensuring that there are support mechanisms for victims of rape and other forms of GBV, including the 202 Hotline.
Furthermore, Minister Rigobert extended his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the latest femicide victim. “I am also calling on the general public to assist the police in their investigations. I appeal to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to ensure that no effort is spared in bringing the perpetrator(s) of such gruesome crimes to swift justice and to send a powerful message of zero tolerance for all forms of violence, as together we recommit ourselves to the fulfillment of the right of every Saint Lucian to live a life free of violence.”