The government is coming under fire for its silence on the unreported rape spate in the capital, which an ex-Cabinet minister finds “deeply disturbing.”
In fact, the Free National Movement (FNM) is calling on the government to address the matter in a manner that is forthright without jeopardising national security considerations.
In a release yesterday, former State Minister of Social Services, Loretta Butler-Turner chided the Christie administration for failing to speak out “clearly and vigorously” on the issue of rape inclusive of advisories to Bahamian women.
“Little to nothing has been said by the minister of national security or the minister of state in the ministry of national security. Likewise the female members of the cabinet have been silent,” she said.
“As rape affects women and their families, including husbands and partners, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and other family members, this silence from the government is deeply disturbing.”
In the last six months, a number of women have been raped during home invasions in western and eastern New Providence. Police have however failed to report the matters to the public.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ferguson on Monday revealed that in some instances, two perpetrators were involved.
“From our analysis, we see that these crimes are happing after 2:00 a.m. to about 6:00 a.m.,” ACP Ferguson said.
The Bahama Journal has also learnt that the perpetrators wear scarves tied around their faces and rape their victims at gunpoint.
Most of the incidents have occurred in the Yamacraw, Elizabeth Estates and Winton areas.
Last year, the Ingraham administration amended various laws dealing with rape, including the Penal Code and the Sexual Offences Act.
The latter introduced a sentence range of 15 years to life for someone convicted of rape.
Mrs. Butler-Turner further reminded that rape is such a serious crime that an amendment was made to restrict access to bail by certain alleged violent offenders and repeat offenders.
“The minister of national security suggested that he believed the new anti-crime legislation introduced by the Ingraham administration to be too harsh. Will he and the government now indicate/confirm that the laws affecting rape and those convicted of rape will not be softened, and that Bahamians can expect that rapists will not find terms for bail being reduced by the new PLP Government,” Mrs. Butler Turner asked.
Meantime, the police said they are making all efforts to apprehend those involved.