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It is with an extremely heavy heart that I write this letter to decry, yet another victim of rape and torture in St. Vincent. This victim was my childhood neighbour who wore my used clothes, so I feel a very personal connection to her. The victim has a name: Sandra Browne
She came into this world and she endured much pain and suffering because our society failed in the most miserable way in protecting her. She was one of the most vulnerable among us. She was female and she was also mentally challenged.
We judge our society by its effectiveness in protecting the most vulnerable and in this case, our society is found grossly wanting.
I am hoping that her torturous death will not go unnoticed and it will rest upon our individual and collective consciences. No woman should be raped in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and no woman should ever be raped and then burned alive ever again.
Sandra’s death is the most heinous crime against humanity. Unfortunately, those who purport to defend humanity are absolutely muted in this case. Why? She came from poverty. Her parents lacked money, education and power within our society. So, her value was reduced to less than others. Wasn’t she human like the rest of us? Didn’t she feel pain like the rest of us? Is poverty a reason for victimisation and a reduction to less than human within SVG?
We must change this. We must see that the perpetrator is brought to justice. Ladies, this could have been anyone of us. It could have been your daughters. Gentlemen, this could have been your mothers, your sisters, your daughters, your nieces. What are we going to do to stop this from being repeated?
Helena R. Edwards
Mount Vernon, New York
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