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Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has called for further amendments to be made to the Sexual Offences Act, to include provisions to protect persons with physical incapacities.
“The section that deals with persons with disabilities only has provisions to protect persons with mental disorders. These provisions should be extended to persons with physical incapacities as well, for example, those who are incapacitated by sight, speech or any other impediment,” Miss Grange said.
The Minister, who was contributing to the debate on the Bill in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 3), said that the legislation should also contain provisions for boys who are buggered.
She noted that while progress was being made in addressing violence against women and children, “we need to do much more to combat attitudes, stereotypes and behaviour that condone, tolerate, excuse and ignore violence against women in all its forms, whether in private or public spaces.”
“This is where public education plays a critical role and wherever we have to find the funds, it must be done.the Government is committed to this. We all, as responsible citizens, have a responsibility to help prevent and to end especially sexual violence against women and children. Let us continue to work together to put an end to this violence,” she urged.
Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, in the meantime, has said that separate legislation was being considered to address the issue of sexual harassment.
“The Government is looking at the issues that would have to be addressed in order to enact legislation to protect persons (from sexual harassment). It is going to be a very challenging exercise when it comes, because it is not possible to absolutely regulate personal relationships,” he stated.
He noted further that “it has been agreed to make separate provisions in the Act to deal with the treatment of buggery”.
The Sexual Offences Act of 2008, is an amalgamation of various laws relating to rape, incest and other sexual offences. It will repeal the Incest (Punishment) Act and several provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act, involving rape and other sex crimes. The debate on the Act will continue at the next sitting of the House of Representatives.