As local and regional law enforcement push towards improving their skills in investigating sexual offences, the head of one women’s organization says that handling of crimes of this nature against the LGBTQ community must be part of the discourse.
This afternoon president of the Business and Professional Woman’s Club of Barbados Nicole Alleyne pointed out that victims of sex crimes were sometimes re-victimized by the manner in which their matter was handled and that this consideration must be extended to persons of different sexual orientation.
Delivering the feature remarks at the closing ceremony of a 14-day sexual offences investigation course, held at the Regional Police Training Center, Alleyne urged the participants which comprised of law enforcement officers from across the region, to put aside what ever biases they may have and rely solely on their training when handling these sensitive matters.
“You must now return and put into practice the tools and skills that you discussed at length with passion during your sessions, by doing this we will discontinue the disparities and marginalizing of individuals because of their sexual orientation or because of our own biases and beliefs. We cannot continue to give the same care that you gave before coming to this course, you now have fresh eyes, fresh lenses, a new standpoint, to empower and to ensure that the survivor is more confident than when they arrived,” said Alleyne.
She further noted: “If you had the opportunity to watch the Democratic debates [in the United States] last night you would have noticed that much discussion was centered around the LGBTQ community, and that there is great concern for marginalized groups. Let this marginalization and re-victimization no longer be named among us as we execute our duty to serve and protect and to do no harm.”
She urged lawmen to first do a self-assessment to determine what their biases were and in so doing, do what is necessary to resolve them.
“If we are going to be excellent first responders we must first perform a self-assessment to ensure that we are not being biased or that any unresolved or misplaced feelings towards the survivor emerges, that our world view and beliefs do not drown out what is in front of you – the evidence or the survivor. This is extremely important in our delivery of service, the moment the survivor recognises our personal bias is the moment that we have lost precious information and time,” she explained.
Alleyne added: “Let’s not continue to waste time. Now to the assessment, your self-awareness makes the process of the investigation run smoothly, you can now assess the situation and information provided more accurately and with clarity.”