The BottomLine is that when I sat down to write this article I had every intention of writing about education still being a privilege in Jamaica, the miserable, overcrowded and wretched conditions in our government run primary schools and the exorbitant school fees being charged by the privately run prep schools in this country.
I had every intention of talking about our clueless universities in Jamaica – with their“insider” culture and the systems of exclusion of the communities and the societies which they scientifically research from afar…
I had every intention of talking about education and learning, and the uphill tasks we face in trying to meet the social, economic, health and climate challenges for the next decades as a result of our short-sightedness in our approach to learning and the production of knowledge.
The BottomLine however, is that I am deeply bothered by a trend in Jamaica, one that disturbs my conscious moments and one which I fear is threatening to destroy the future of this once great nation.
I speak to mothers especially. I want to talk about our baby girls and our preteen daughters and our teenage girls who are being molested and gang raped and sexually abused, by their fathers, their teachers, their classmates, the taxi drivers, the bus drivers and conductors, and the “big man dem inna dem communities” – including so called prominent citizens!
The BottomLine is that if we continue to turn a blind eye when our young babies are being raped, sodomized and molested, at the rate at which they are in Jamaica, then we too are guilty.
We are guilty of being watchers, witnesses to the destruction of the innocence of our nation and the annihilation of generations still to come!
The BottomLine is that if we refuse to do more than just lament and talk for nine days, when we hear of another horrific and brutal tale of rape and murder, or even suicide, then we are part of the problem!
The BottomLine is that I want to talk about rape and child molestation in Jamaica, this morning, I want to talk about our young girls who are being gang raped in schools and who are not getting the proper counseling or even the attention necessary as some schools seek to protect their reputations at the expense of our daughters.
I want to talk woman to woman, to our mothers and grandmothers and sisters. I want to talk to you mother, grandmother, auntie and god mother. I want to talk to us – who feel with our wombs, deeply and our spirits. I want to talk about rape and child molestation in Jamaica.
I want to talk about what we do when our daughters are gang raped, when our daughters identify the rapists as belonging to the very school which they attend .I want to talk about what we do when the education system tells us that the perpetrators are innocent until proven guilty and our daughters are sent back to the same school where their attackers are, to be ridiculed and taunted and raped again!!!!
I want to talk about what we do, because she is not our biological daughter, because she is not our niece. I want to talk about compassion, and anger and righteous indignation and revolution!!
I want to talk to you sister, about the justice system that puts our babies on trial again after they have been molested. I want to talk about a justice system that drags out a rape or molestation case for one year (sometimes two, sometimes three), until it frustrates our daughters into begging to make it stop.
The BottomLine is that, whether they want to put a spin on it or not, we know that we’ve never seen rape like we are seeing it now. We know that we’ve never seen our young babies batteried and gang raped as we are seeing now. We know that we have seen the face of something ugly and we ourselves are becoming afraid.
The bottom line is that, if the State will not stop them we must.
We must form strong support groups in every school, in every community, in every nook and cranny of Jamaica till this scourge is eradicated.
We must protect our daughters from pastors, politicians, Mr. Businessman, teachers, any Mr. Man who would seek to rape or molest them!
We must march if we have to, but we must also take action where we are, collectively. We must demand proper transportation systems to get our little ones to and from school and if the state will not do so, we must form support pools, that transport our daughters safely.
The BottomLine is that a lot of the rapes are happening on school compounds and if this is to stop it is our duty to demand that the boys (the rapists) who continue to get away with it, be publicly bought to justice (and swiftly too).
We must form stronger PTAs that not only seek to raise funds, but PTAs which patrol school compounds, bus stops, school routes, KFCs, Burger Kings, games rooms, internet cafes….
The BottomLine is that as women, mothers, sisters, grandmothers – we must all be responsible, for all our girls…..all of our boys…all of our children!
The bottom line is that our babies are also being molested in their homes, by their fathers, and uncles, and brothers….
Now, that is unforgivable. Women you know…..you know….
And where girls are being sexually abused and entire communities remain silent, I challenge you, for the sake of our daughters, bawl out!!! Speak out. Call the CDA, call the police. Tell somebody. For the sake of our girls and our country!
If we don’t break this ugly, vicious and horrible wall of silence, we are just as guilty as those who are carrying out the act…
It may be hard to hear….but that’s the BottomLine!
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