Sexual related offences are one of the issues bombarding Grenada’s Court system, however, Minister of Youth, Emmalin Pierre believes that a Sexual Offenders Registry would not solve the problem.
The most recent case reaching the court’s system involved a young man who resided on the sister isle of Carriacou who is accused of sexually molesting a one year old.
Minister Pierre told reporters that she does not have a problem with a registry being set up as advocated by some persons but believes that one must dig deeper into the problem to try and arrest it.
“I believe that a lot of time when you look back (at) the perpetrators, you would find things that would tell you this is not something that happened over night”, she said.
“…So yes people must be punished for whatever crime, for whatever breaking of the law, I strongly believe that persons must pay but I also think that in addition to that, we cannot take a reactive approach only, we have to continue to place most emphasis on the proactive,” she added.
According to the senior government minister, more emphasis needs to be placed on figuring out where the problem of sexual abuse by the perpetrators started.
“We have to do a lot more with our children now, we have to do a lot more now with our schools, we have to do a lot more now with our churches, we have to do a lot more now with our homes. I am extremely concerned (that) in a lot of cases what is described as home and home in a lot of places is a dangerous place to be.
“…So it means that if we have to address these problems, we have to get to the bottom of it but how do we do that? Government alone cannot do this, let’s not fool ourselves. It requires all of our stakeholders coming together…when the church understands that it has to come together to address national issues, then the church is beginning to understand its role.
The female Minister disclosed that government is open and ready to work with the relevant stakeholders in getting to the root of the problem.
“It would require churches coming together, all stakeholders, NGO’s, persons coming together and finding a reason to work together. Very often we come together for other reasons but let us come together to seriously decide that this has to be stopped, this has to be significantly reduced and together we are going to find solutions,” she said.