Categorized | National News

Christian Council Condemns Rape Culture

By Delvardo Emmanuel

Journal Staff Writer

Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Bishop Delton Fernander and supporting clergymen have outright condemned what Bishop Fernander has asserted is a rape culture developing in the country.

Bishop Fernander’s comments came following the recent abduction and sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl last Saturday.

During a press conference held Tuesday afternoon at the William. H. Thompson auditorium, Bishop Fernander said the council stands united in grief and condemnation.

“We are deeply troubled as a society. This is only a sign of what is going wrong in the Bahamian society. We stand against any violence against children. We stand against the rape culture that seemingly is developing in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” he said.

“We wholesomely want to provide what the church does in terms of the survivors of these events to let them know that the church stands in this important role to provide counsel, to provide the spirit of God, to help with the wholeness and repair the whole being that would have been afflicted with this kind of injustice.”

According to police, on Saturday, the nine-year-old girl was playing outside of her home on Lazarette Road, with friends, when a man driving a white Nissan Skyline called the little girl to his car to get in. She complied and was taken to an unknown location where she was threatened and sexually assaulted, police added. The girl was later found on Spikenard Road.

In sounding the alarm, Bishop Fernander, a father himself, expressed personal displeasure on the matter. He called for more collaboration between the government and the church to address these social ills.

“We’re very concerned and I’m outraged. I mean, I have a 14-year-old. I would tell you that even as a man of faith, if this would happen to my 14-year-old, I would be livid, I would be enraged,” he said.

“As was said yesterday, we are changing the way we operate now. We used to be a society where we had some comfortability with our children being right outside our house, being in our community. We don’t even know our community anymore.”

Bishop Fernander added that the church has no problem working with entities in the community.

“We will have conversations that are being asked of by the state to work with social services, to work with Urban Renewal, to work with these entities to see that we can bring the spiritual component, but we also will hit the ground and work some of our programs outside of the walls of the church,” Bishop Fernander said.

In the first five months of 2023, there was a 64 percent increase in rape reports in New Providence when compared to the previous year, according to statistics given by National Security Minister Wayne Munroe in June.

As a result, Bishop Fernander is calling on lawmakers to put in place stiffer penalties for sexual offenders.

“I believe that the perpetrators of these kind of events ought to be dealt with to the full extent of the law. If it is that our systems are failing us, that these are repeat offenders, I don’t know it to be on the fact, but it’s being alleged that some of these acts and heinous acts are being carried out by repeat offenders,” Bishop Fernander noted.

“The society must put these failsafe mechanisms in place, so that when these persons who are known to be of this kind of mindset can be monitored, the actions can be tracked that the full extent of the law will lend itself to them that maybe they might not even be given bail,” he said.

Bishop Fernander contends that this tragic event is a stark reminder that this nation must work together to create a safer environment for a child.

He’s encouraging churches, schools and community organizations to collaborate in promoting programs that emphasize child protection, respectful relationships and the value of every human life.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook