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PM: 'Why do you want to describe rape?'

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis. Photo: Dante Carrer

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis. Photo: Dante Carrer

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis questioned on Friday whether it was necessary to "describe rape" in response to criticism over the stalled pace of legislation to criminalize marital raped.

Mr Davis suggested that the Protection Against Violence Bill passed last year sufficiently addressed all forms of violence against a person. He was asked to respond to comments by Bahamas Crisis Centre director Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson that activists have not given up on their advocacy for legislation to criminalize martial rape.

Mr Davis said: “Why do you want to describe rape? Rape is rape. We passed a bill...a bill against violence against persons and if you look at that bill that covers any manner of degradation, or what I call behaviour that's not acceptable to society.”

“Look at the bill that was passed. I don't like this idea of describing rape. Rape is rape, whether you're married or unmarried and the challenge they are having is describing it.

The House of Assembly passed the Protection Against Violence Bill in July 2023. At the time, Mr Davis said he was disturbed and disappointed that some women’s groups announced their opposition to the bill at the “last hour”.

The press release sent last year voicing opposition to the bill was purportedly supported by several women’s rights groups and leaders, including Marion Bethel, the vice chairperson and rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Committee on Women and Girls Rights.

At the time, the advocates said the bill they previously supported was more comprehensive than the one passed and furthered that critical information is missing from the act.

The late Social Services Minister Obie Wilchcombe announced in July 2023 that officials were preparing four new shelters for women, the first of which would be ready in a few weeks.

Pressed on an update regarding a women’s shelter, Mr Davis said: “Well that’s a matter I know that is ongoing. There was efforts to partner with the Salvation Army and I know that is ongoing. We have some private shelters that's operating now through social services, but to have one dedicated building, that's a work in progress.”

Comments

ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

Wise men and women always say define the problem so you can know when its resolved.

You can look at this statement and identify a whole range of issues we have at the country level and likely at the senior leadership level of many govt and private organizations. The first is the question "why" with the accompanying "I" dont want to. Why should you? Because the people you brought in specifically for their technical expertise, experience and knowledge of the area told you it was critical to do a certain set of things in a prescribed fashion, call out sexual violence within the confines of marriage as "rape" in order to protect mostly women and bring about a new level of consciousness in men.The second issue with the statement, the way forward is formulated by the maximum leader on their "feelings" and not information, evidence or research. And the two aren't mutually exclusive to a way forward, but when feelings trump evidence, get ready for the inevitable crisis when the leader has to pretend that they never knew this was an issue, nobody knew, in fact who could have possibly known? and we'll get right to fixing it.

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stillwaters 1 month, 1 week ago

Man.......this brings back memories of when Bill Clinton was trying to describe 'sex' after being caught in the Monica scandal.

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John 1 month, 1 week ago

3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

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DillyTree 1 month, 1 week ago

The PM is correct, rape is rape, but the problem is when the Christian Council starts bleating that it's not possible for a man to rape his wife because of some God-given right to do so. What does it hurt to include that in the law so that ther are no "loopholes" in the law.

To many peole don't understand that "no" means "no" -- married or not.

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ExposedU2C 1 month, 1 week ago

No self-respecting Bahamian woman should ever cast a vote for a PLP candidate, whether the PLP candidate be a man, woman or a freak of nature. As a political party, the PLP has never had any meaningful respect for women's rights.

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