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Let’s speak out!

Last week I received quite a lot of responses about my article and decided to speak out a bit more on things pertaining to some of the content in the said article. I know that what I spoke about is not a foreign thing and neither is it unknown to many.

The problem we have — and this is not isolated to only Barbados — is we seem to think that sweeping issues like abuse under the carpet will go away once we play the “ignoring game”. Not only that, we shy away from calling things as they are because some words make us cringe and force us to not only look in the mirror but to face reality.

I was having a conversation with a friend recently who worked at a secondary school and she was talking about some females who sleep in classes and are known to sleep with men to pay bills. Of course their mothers are the ones who endorse and condone this behaviour.

The thing is, these things are in many cases public knowledge and seen as a normal part of life in many communities. However, the ugliness of these things have not only taken root but have begun to bear fruit within those who deem that the activities be kept away from the wider public’s eyes.

Even worse are those who have no voice or are unable to articulate or control what others do to them because of their disability. The stories of some of these males and females are heart wrenching and unbelievable in many cases; not because we doubt the victim but because the amount of wickedness which goes into making some of these cruelties a reality defies logic and baffles the mind in the worse way.

How can we sit idly by when mothers introduce their sons to sex by having sex with them, when girls are pimped out for bills and even used as a “payment” as a way to make a man happy just to avoid a beating, when money is taken away from both disabled males and females because they are seen as having no right to it, when parents allows their child to watch them partake in all kinds of sexual activity, or how about the young girls who are impregnated by big hard back men (relatives included) but have to endure abortions to hide the shame which the act brought about?

How do we sleep? As a matter of fact, how do we stay awake with such knowledge? There are instances where the authorities know the deeds which are being done but nothing is done. I’ve heard that there needs to be substantial evidence in order for charges to be brought but those who should and can go forward with such information refuse to do so.

Who is going to speak up for the oppressed? We should be ashamed as a nation to do nothing when it comes to crimes of this nature. Anytime we allow such atrocities to knowingly take place without speaking out we should be very fearful of our present state and our future.

As a result of this, our children no longer know right from wrong and it will only get worse. The act of sex is no longer viewed as a gift from God, but has taken on various meanings depending on those you ask. What is clear though is that sex is no longer sacred but a tool used to dominate and conquer.

The Irish orator Edmund Burke said that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. I’ve always heard the quote but really sat and thought about it for a long time about the ramifications of “evil” and “do nothing”.

In order for us to deal with evil we must recognise and acknowledge that the evil exists and call it for what it is. Covering up evil never solves anything or bears good fruit. It is the covering up of evil that leaves scars unseen by the natural eye which some never receive healing from and which bears much resentment, hostility, bitterness and unhealthy relationships. It is in these same unhealthy relationships that we see the cycle repeated, yet wonder why families are so screwed up.

Then when we do nothing we’re putting our stamp of approval on the activity thus endorsing this same very evil. I wouldn’t even touch the “good men” part because that seems farfetched in this article.

When we hide things it says not only that we know truth but that we understand that which is being done, is wrong. We will never be able to move forward as individuals or as a people when we continue to cover up acts of violence and abuse. For our sake, our children’s sake and the sake of the vulnerable, speak up and speak out! Their very lives are depending on us!

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