September 23, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Is rape really on the increase?


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With eight cases already reported here between January and March compared to only one last year this would seem to show a rise of 700%.

However, this is one statistic that could be horribly wrong. I say “horribly” because very few rape cases ever get reported.

In a news story on local television station CITN/Cayman 27, Cayman Islands Family Resource Centre co-ordinator Miriam Foster, reiterated my point when she said she was surprised the actual number of eight reported cases wasn’t higher.

M/s Foster has said that persons who have been raped should seek help immediately at the Resource centre and they will decide whether it should be a police matter and they will help you to get through this awful ordeal.

I well remember a family member who reported she had been raped and then had to go to an open court session here to revisit her horrendous ordeal and then the defence lawyer tried to intimate she instigated it and accused her of prostitution!

The rapist was found guilty only for it to be overturned on appeal over a technicality. Two weeks later he raped another local lady!

It is indeed a brave person who will go through all that experience. In those days there was no Family Resource Centre and I can only conclude that now it is easier more cases will be reported and prosecuted.

I do not, therefore, believe necessarily that rape is on the increase. I firmly believe the increase is more are actually being reported.

However, I also believe, the majority of rape cases still do NOT get reported.

So what is the answer?

We, the media, should definitely write more stories of this heinous of all crimes and encourage the victims to come forward.

There is more help for the victims in the Cayman Islands now. And if it is not reported the rapist will strike over and over again.

If you are a victim, you do not have to report to an untrained, disinterested police officer. You will be reporting to someone trained and who cares.



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