Female docs first choice

A main women’s organisation in the island has issued a call for rape victims to be attended by female doctors when the incidents are reported.

President of the National Organisation of Women, Marilyn Rice-Bowen, told a gathering of mostly women today at the One Billion Rising event in Heroes Square, the City, that in Barbados in 2010, there were 63 reported incidents of rape; 70, in 2011 and 53 last year.

Calling the situation “unacceptable”, the NOW president said: “As a society we must cease requesting women not to wear shorts, don’t wear clothes that are revealing. Men must learn respect for women. Parents teach your boys how to respect women.”

She urged parents to “nip in the bud” any actions by their boys which could be regarded as disturbing treatment of the opposite sex.

“The National Organisation of Women will continue to request that female doctors examine rape victims. International sources report that every nine seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten. In addition, violence is the leading cause of injury to women — more than car accidents, etc.

“We recognise that role men play in the elimination of violence against women and we have embraced them in the planning of our programmes,” she said.

She noted that NOW would continue to amplify the social issues that confront women and girls, particularly violence in any form.

“We will continue to offer programmes to enlighten and empower our women. Violence not only affects the victim, but their families, their children; it wrecks havoc in the family, impacts negatively in the workplace.

“No effort will be spared until we can witness the elimination of violence against women. Women today, join hand, join hearts, raise voices, join women’s organisations, strike a dance and continue the conversation,” she pleaded. (LB)

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