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Charity leader calls for sexual offenders’ registry

LEANNE TASHER, [email protected]

Charity leader calls for sexual offenders’ registry

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A SEXUAL OFFENDERS registry is urgently needed.

So said founder of I Am A Girl Barbados, Alian Ollivierre, whose comments followed the recent circulation of video recording of a girl and 17-year-old male in Queen’s Park, which led to him being charged with serious indecency.

Ollivierre said she believed it was time offenders were “called out” for their deeds, particularly those involving under aged victims.

“Parents, and society, have a right to be aware of potential threats to their children in general. Also, it allows for a level of accountability,” she said.

“…This is one scenario out of many where girls in Barbados are seen as sexual objects and nothing more, starting from young men to old men. Street harassment, verbal abuse and sexual advances, although unacceptable, are almost normalised in our society for the most part,” she said.

The charity leader warned that unless serious efforts were made to resolve these issues, minors were at a high risk of developing low self-esteem, becoming pregnant, self-harming and being abused.

Olliviere said she believed the view that sexually harassed or assaulted victims “call for it” needed to be changed. She said the way a girl dresses, speaks or acts should never warrant inappropriate advances.

“Somehow it’s never the adults’ fault who should just see girls as just that, girls, and let them grow into adulthood in peace.… We live in a society that doesn’t speak up when men call out to a girl or pull at her, even as she’s in (school) uniform.

“They see it and get conditioned into believing it’s okay… We live in a society that only jumps when an impact has been made. We are not proactive. We are reactive and that in itself will take a long time to shift,” she said. (LT)