On 25th October, 2011, the local television program “Crime Watch” which airs on TV6 at 6pm in Trinidad and Tobago, aired video footage of a 13 year old girl being beaten and raped. The host of Crime Watch, also had the child’s mother on set and asked her questions about how she felt on hearing the cries of her daughter as she is being raped by several men on the video.
I cannot sit idly by and merely shake my head at this abomination. That the rape of a child is aired on a television show that is notorious for sensationalizing, and packaging criminal activity and trauma of victims as entertainment, signals that we have reached an all new level of barbarism.
In a country where the cries of a child being raped can be aired at prime time, and then again at night, and again the next day, and again the next night – is it any wonder that we are a country whose rates of murder of women by domestic partners and rape are amongst the highest in the world?
For if we can reduce someone to a sound-bite, a headline, a statistic, then it becomes easier for us to forget they are human beings. They become ‘the other’, ‘a number’, ‘not one of us’. And when we are fed violence as entertainment, we become desensitized to the chopping, the burning, the raping. Suddenly a woman who is ‘just’ battered is no big deal.
WomenSpeak was created to give these ‘statistics’ a human face. To give women the opportunity to tell their stories of abuse, harassment, discrimination, in their own words. To encourage every man and woman in the region to take responsibility for sharing the message that discrimination against women is a disease that is rotting us from the inside out. That we stand as Caribbean men and women, boys and girls who believe in the dignity of all human beings. And we DEMAND higher standards of decency, empathy and justice for women and girls.
We each have a voice. Let us use it. If we are fed up of the exploitation, denigration and dehumanization of our women, men and children, please exercise your conscience and let the Telecommunication Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, Crime Watch and TV6 and its affiliates know what you think of it’s degrading ratings ploys; of this violence perpetrated by the local media upon it’s citizens.
For my part, I want Crime Watch OFF THE AIR. PERIOD.
Below are contact numbers and links
Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (click link for complaint form)
#5 Eighth Avenue Extension, Off Twelfth Street, Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago.
Phone : 1-868-675-8288
35 Independence Square , Port of Spain, Trinidad, WI
Trinidad Express Newspapers
35-37 Independence Square, Port of Spain, Trinidad, WI
Hott 93 Office
#5 Rosalino Street, Woodbrook
Port Of Spain, Trinidad, W.I.
Phone: (868).625.8426, (868).623.7605
Simone Leid – The WomenSpeak Project