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The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

Sandra Browne.
Sandra Browne.

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.

Related: Intruder demanded sex before chopping mentally challenged woman and setting her house on fire

We judge our society by its effectiveness in protecting the most vulnerable and in this case, our society is found grossly wanting.

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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

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

2 replies on “Rape and violence against women in SVG”

  1. Watching Hard says:

    I’m afraid that Vincentians seem to be losing all semblance of values. If you are of high social status we will look out for you but crapaud smoke yuh pipe if you are poor or female or mentally or physically challenged. Dog eat yuh supper if you have no “important” social connections. Perhaps if you lucky and you get the press and the politics is right, the PM may take an interest in you.

    I don’t know what the situation was like in the village where Sandra Browne lived but my lord, how can such a vulnerable soul have been assaulted so many times and nothing seems to have been done about it? What kind of consciences do we have? What role did the authorities play in safeguarding this woman?

    We also have to realise that each one of us have a responsibility to our neighbours. The biblical line “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is still very relevant. Even if the authorities don’t lift a finger to assist we as responsible people in our community have to take it upon ourselves to look out for our more vulnerable. Who will look out for us if we don’t look out for each other?

    I hope that Sandra Browne finds justice. I hope the criminal matter is not just cast by the wayside and forgotten just because of who she was.

  2. Helena, what a surprising subject for you write about. Did you attend the PMs support rally in SVG, you know the one mislabelled as ‘the rape rally’ ?

    You should tell the people how your new best friend was [accused of] the crime of rape, also sexual assault, I believe there were six complaints altogether. None of the charges were allowed to go forward, so no day in court for Gonsalves. And the DPP said the other complaints were too old for him to proceed with. Yet there is no time limit on rape and murder cases in SVG.

    Well Helena, if you want to know all about it contact the police woman, or talk to the Canadian human rights lady attorney.

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