Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Raped on Duty

That's what the Gleaner headline screamed at me, and my blood boiled even before I took up the newspaper and began to read, because I knew that it was a woman abused by a co-worker (again) simply because she was a woman, with a vagina, and her abuser was a man -a male chauvanist pig- who believed it was his sovereign right to exercise sexual dominance over vaginas any and everywhere...

But it got worse. This woman was a police constable. Her abuser was a colleague, another officer, a man who has probably handled a plethora of rape cases against other men in the country... and he did it while the country was battling with the devastating effects of Gustav. Yes, Jamaican police have fouled up again! And in an even more despicable and shameful way!

To add insult to injury and pour sulfurous salt into raw, open wounds, this constable is being victimised by her own colleagues, who are treating her like a villain, labelling her a traitor, for standing up and speaking out against gross injustice and unpalatable abuse. She laments, "It's like I have done something wrong. No-one remembers that this man violated me."

The tragedy deepens because the very same people who she has to be looking to for help are the ones who are playing hanky-panky with her report, doing everything they can to slow the process, and trying to ensure that her case never reaches the court. They have leaked her story to the general public in the area, and exposed her to humiliating stares and comments from random people on the streets everyday. Can you believe, even the person in charge of her division (a male) has now made it a habit to go to her work station and stare at her for at least a minute every day?? And she explains that this happens everyday to countless other women in the force, who keep silent and feel helpless...

I pray to God that this case gets intervention at the highest level possible and that justice is served to this police constable. Everyday she has to see the faces of her rapist and his friends, jeering and mocking her... I call Women's Media Watch, Jamaicans for Justice, Women's Affairs Bureau, JFLAG, and just about every other NGO and civil awareness group in this country to start rallying for her right to a fair trial! Let this be the precedent that puts police rapists to shame!! I am so upset... I wish I could inflict serious grievous bodily harm, dole out cruel and inhumane punishment, to the bastards who think they have a right to any woman's body simply because they are men, especially the nasty, rotten, disgusting pieces of effluence that plague our police force...

17 comments:

Ruthibelle said...

I had this fantastic get-up planned for my fiftieth post, but when I saw this I had to ditch the frills and get down to business... I am SOOO grieved by this nonsense in our police force!! I am SOO tired of women being abused because they are women, and some unintelligent baboons think that means they're subservient and inferior: possessions rather than people... enough is ENOUGH and our society is in dire need of radical changes where our perceptions of gender roles are concerned! This belief that women are somehow less than men and therefore subjected to their every whim and fancy is what fuels a large percentage of rape and it needs to STOP - NOW!!!

Rashan Jamal said...

That's so messed up. I see police are dirty in Jamaica as they are here in America.

ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

It has become increasingly apparent, that the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF) is peopled with a considerable number of troglodytes,who do not understand how to conduct themselves professionally,specifically,with regard to their fellow female constables.And that rape is nothing but unadulteradted violence.Also,that NO means NO!!! The JCF needs to give these troglodytes/thugs the boot,by reversing the THUGIFICATION of the police force.ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID

Beth said...

OMG!!!! That is so HORRIBLE!!!!! POLICE OFFICERS!!!! sheesh....does it ever end?

Annie Paul said...

great word, troglodyte--grateful to have it reintroduced into my vocab Esteban.

so glad you posted on this Ruthibelle...its absolutely outrageous that in a country where everyone claims to be a pious 'churchperson' the majority of people will always choose the indefensible path of secrecy, disapproval, hectoring--not of the perpetrator but the victim!

shut up! they seem to be saying, shut up and take it. its shocking but one of the worst things you can do in this society it seems is speak out and claim your rights. well, if this is Christian behaviour you realize why some of us are so critical and skeptical of religion.

yes, the Police must be made to do the right thing in this case. kudos to the Gleaner for exposing this. let's keep it in the public sphere until...

Ruthibelle said...

I can never fathom the callous insensitivity meted out to rape victims, as if the ordeal of being violated against their will isn't enough?

And the gross hypocrisy displayed by authoritative figures and religious leaders is incomprehensible and reprehensible... Fuelled by ignorance of how to deal with such an 'uncomfortable' issue, perhaps?

Rashan, Jamaica has it's fair share of corrupt cops.

I'm just hoping this issue doesn't get buried or forgotten like so many other times...

kalonje said...

this story is such a shame.

geewiz said...

and in the police force, no less. literally caught with their pants down again! disgraceful!

dejanae said...

that blue wall shit is fucked up
you'd figure theyd be the ones who'd want to rid their department of criminals
sigh
i hope she gets a fair shake

Opinionated Diva said...

WOW!!! This is exactly why a lot of women suffer in silence. My heart goes out to her.

mad bull said...

But she is a police! She nuh have access to gun? Get a throwaway piece and shot the bastard in him head and be done widdit. Shot her supervisor too, for that matter. Disgusting effers.

Ruthibelle said...

Supervisor needs some lashes for trying to intimidate her like that (is it just me, or did the staring thing indicate stalker potential?)

MB, (too bad) murder doesn't always solve things... this is just sooo upsetting!

lucy said...

i tell you i'm always giving chauvinistic men a huge ration of shit for even the smallest digressions and it is for this EXACT reason.

i wish i could be there to stare down that supervisor. bloody ass.

Long said...

Well, I could say that I was surprised by the story. But I wasn't. I was just surprised that the gleaner published it, and without the "alleged" disclaimer sprinkled throughout, so that it read like a testimony.

This is really an account of "a day in the life" of being a woman in Jamaica. This issue is also an extension of the corruption that we are living with: it is insight into the particular ways that men who work for the state use that access to power to abuse other men and women. Rape is the tactic used against women, but it is one in a series of tactics used by men in institutions that are rigged to protect them against the rest of us. In this story, "Police woman" was being reminded that although she has "police" as part of her title, "woman" is an important qualifier of her status.

More on my blog longbench.wordpress.com

Ruthibelle said...

Rape is not about sex so much as it is about power...

Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals & Gays said...

In fact Rubi we are watching this one in conjunction with Women for Women.

The story published as it was was no suprise.

They have been losing it for some time.

Peace.

Javed Saunja Jaghai said...

You know Ruthi, this indeed happens far too often. Just about a month ago a close friend of mine told me that a supervisor, at a prominent hotel chain in Ocho Rios ripped her stockings off in the parking lot, as he groped at her private parts, and insisted that she gave up the fight. She managed to slip away, as someone passed by, and reached home safely. The next day, she reported the incident to the General Manager of the hotel, only to be told by him that there was nothing he could do. She resigned...after 3 years of not working, and finally getting her hands on a decent paying job.

So I told her, look, you need to report this. Only God knows how many others he has put his depraved, wicked hands on. She said she wouldn't, so I said, okay then if you are afraid, let me deal with this. I will write to the Gleaner, I will write to the General Manager, I will write to the corporate offices of the Sandals chain (oops I said it)...but she said no. She said it is not her battle to fight, and that the next person he does it to might have the courage to speak out.

I was so disappointed. But alas, I am not surprised. In Jamaica it is typical to hush up such blatant instances of abuses. Boys and girls are molested by uncles and parents/guardians; women are abused and raped by close friends and family; wives are beaten by their husbands---and yet, no one speak out against these injustices. Those who do become objects of abject ridicule, and are made to feel ashamed for standing up for their rights as individuals.

These occurrences strike directly at my heart, and I am convinced that there needs to be a change in the retrogressive world view of Jamaicans. How can we not realize that by not speaking up about such abuses, we pave the way for repeat occurrences...the terrorization of others. And further, how can we not feel guilty for choosing to remain silent.

This problem is beyond me. I don't know where to start...but this madness needs to END!