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Small-Morgan: Disgusted about the direction SVG has taken

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Disappointed, disgusted and disheartened. Strong words, but real feelings that I have about the direction that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has taken lately.{{more}} Why are we killing, raping and hurting our women like this? Can someone please tell me?

As an unwilling alumnus to a fast growing segment of our nation – the families of the innocent victims whose blood has been spilled on this nation, I am TRULY disgusted! We are treating this issue not with the true importance that it urgently needs. It’s almost as if the lives of our citizens, especially the lives of our females, both young and old, are simply disposable.

I was speaking to a friend for a while yesterday; he was breaking it down for me as regards the now warped and totally unacceptable views of women in our society today. He explained to me what a “smallie” was. I almost threw up because if this is true, this means there are even more pedophile predators than we would like to admit in our midst. When grown men use the phrase, “After 12 (meaning years old), it’s lunch (they are ready to have sex), I think it’s safe to say that our issues of inappropriate talk, touch and behavior have gone way past the realms of alarming!

As I write, I am sad because we are thrown into yet another scary prospect that one of our young ones is missing; seemingly because someone set out to harm her. Shanika Small’s family shouldn’t have to know this heart pounding terror, but sadly, they too seem to be joining this ever growing alumni. My prayers are with you.

What does this do to those of us who are left to pick up the pieces? If you’ve never gone through this, count yourself fortunate. You know it’s horrible, but it’s much more than that. For those of us who can get up every day, God has been merciful, because he sees our faith and braces us for the turmoil of living without our loved one. Your breath is never the same, your laughter is changed (if you ever laugh again that is), some of us blame God or maybe ourselves, some people contemplate not going on, and the list of mental and physical devastation goes on. All because we are now the most violent nation in the OECS against women. Never would I have thought that such a tainted title would be held by my St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Never.

Gone are the days when we wouldn’t dare use profanity in front of our parents, much less our elders and if we were crazy enough to try, our teeth would have been knocked loose. Gone are the days when our Senior Citizens could reap the benefits of contributing to their country and now just relax in a carefree manner. No, now they are being abducted, raped, murdered and discarded as if they were a DISPOSABLE napkin!

Why must our pre-teens/teens be exposed to suggestive comments and gestures as they walk to and from school? I can remember never having to look over my shoulder or being scared walking home from the neighbors once dusk set in. Now that isn’t even an option for my children or me.

What about the fact that many parents have fallen into the trap about giving their children more than they had? They now want to be their children’s friend? That’s a BIG mistake. These are the same children who may be book smart, but may lack the sound judgment to make a sound decision when faced with challenges that are thrown their way.

Does the government (whichever is in power, I am NOT here for a political game nor to be pulled into one) have a responsibility to maintain control over this epidemic that continues to grow like a cancer in our country? Absolutely! If we are being harassed, stalked, threatened or molested, we should have a plan in place where women can go in confidence to report these incidents. Are they rape counselors at the Police Department? Can we report these crimes to an empathetic female officer – not that men couldn’t do the job, but a female may make it a little less embarrassing. The bottom line is: are we fostering a level of discretion for our victims at home? I ask these questions because I simply have no true knowledge regarding the inner workings of the system for reporting these crimes.

Finally, what are our responsibilities as citizens? We can point the finger at the government and the police as much as we want, but at the end of the day we govern our households and ourselves. Teach our girls that they are worth more than being a “smallie” to these nasty old men (shame on those of you!). If you are being harassed, please report it. Teach your sons to use their words fairly and respectfully not their hands! Form a grassroots movement to demand change in relation to the education about violence against women, and how we are treated. Learn to say, “No” more often to your children, they have to learn boundaries. Bring God back to the forefront in our home life; SVG can turn this devastating corner. Lastly this is in memory of all of those victims who paid the ultimate price at the hands of a predator: You may have been taken, but you will not be forgotten. Mommy your life was not in vain, because you were never DISPOSABLE.

Editor’s note: Rosanne Small-Morgan is the daughter of Lorna Small, whose partly decomposed body was found in a shallow grave at the Belair Cemetery on April 22, 2008, five days after she went missing.

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