The local chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW) is supporting calls for the establishment of a sex offenders’ registry.
However, BPW member Marlene Hewitt is urging a certain degree of prudence in its application.
The latest call for such a registry came yesterday from the victim of a recent attempted rape, who told Barbados TODAY the authorities should list “every man that ever raped a woman, every attempted rapist, every child molester, every man that touch a minor under the age of 16” in the registry, adding that once a report can be verified, even those charged should be listed.
While throwing her support behind the call, Hewitt advised that only people who have been convicted of sex offences should appear on the list.
“You don’t want to have somebody being placed on the register before they are actually convicted because you don’t want to ruin anyone’s reputation,” Hewitt told Barbados TODAY.
Nevertheless, she said a registry would be a great resource for women who may not be aware of the background of potential partners.
“If you don’t know about that person but you check the register and that person is on the register you may know ‘well, hey this is not someone that I want to be associated with’ and you may even tell other women that this person is on the register.”
According to Hewitt, the register would also help protect children from sexual predators.
“I think we need to know who has been an offender in this area, and especially when it relates to children, you might want to monitor your children, where they are, who they play with etc, who they’re around. And if you know that a person is on a register you can keep them away from that offender. And if you don’t know, there’s no way you can protect your child,” Hewitt stressed.