The Guyanese society has become too apathetic towards rape – Nicole Cole
A change in administration has not resulted in any changes in the way rape cases are handled and prosecuted in Guyana and one Rights activist and Social worker believes that a law should be enacted to deal expeditiously with Child rape cases.
During a recent exclusive interview with professional social worker, Nicole Cole, she advocated for the speedy prosecution of rape cases, more specifically child rape.
Miss Cole reminded of the 2013 rape of two-year-old Kimanie Watson and advocated that a law be passed in her name that addresses child rape, something she feels passionately about.
“The phenomenon of Child rape is just too much in Guyana and we have become a society that is very apathetic to our children who suffer …you know what we do? We tend to punish the children and leave the parents who are responsible for some of the things those children go through … it has to do with power and domination,” Cole said.
She pointed to the fact that DNA is a critical aspect of prosecuting rapists, yet it is still lacking in Guyana, citing the Forensic Laboratory which is a white elephant.
According to her, another important aspect in dealing with rape cases is post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP which involves the use of antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. It must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV. This, Cole said would eliminate the possible transmission of the deadly virus during rape and also eradicate the shame that some victims, who wish not to make a police report, would endure.
Miss Cole believes a stronger message must be sent to paedophiles, through the criminal justice system, so it can act as a deterrent.
The issue of marital rape was highlighted by Miss Cole, who noted that the rights of women must be respected in all circumstances.
According to the Rights activist, the rape of boys and men cannot be overlooked and called for society to become more serious about this phenomenon.
Miss Cole is a Rights of the Child Commissioner and a member of the Citizens Against Rape Organization.