(Trinidad Express) Many of those who engage in gang rape would ensure that one of the members in their gang is HIV-positive, Minister of Social Development and Gender Verna St Rose Greaves said yesterday.
Speaking in the Senate during the budget debate at Tower D at the Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain, St Rose Greaves said the society had to deal with issues of gender.
Noting that many in society tended to dismiss gender as an issue and felt it was the pet project of “man-haters, lesbians and women who can’t get a man”, St Rose Greaves said gender had to do with the structure of relationships—cultural, familial and interpersonal—between men and women, boys and girls.
She said the high incidence of rape, including gang rape, was horrifying.
She said many years ago, in working with young men and with people who were the victims of gang rapes, “we got to find out that what some of the troubled young men who were going out to commit these ghastly acts, they would recruit and they would make sure that in that recruitment there was one person who was infected with the HIV virus. “That was the reality and that has been happening for a long time. We threw up the red flags. We did all kinds of things, but people were not paying attention.”
St Rose Greaves said in 2010, 940 reports of domestic violence were made to the police and 68.2 per cent of these were for assault by beating.
She said the number of homicides due to domestic violence was second only to gang violence, and these deaths were atrocious. “Women have been set on fire, eyes gouged out, hanged, poisoned, shot,” she said.
She said in 2010, police received 215 reports of rape, 22 reports of incest, 158 of grievous sexual assault and 278 sex with minor females under 14. And many persons do not report such crimes.