A special warning has been issued for young women travelling late at night and those living alone to ensure they are alert and their homes secure as reports of rapes increase in the nine police divisions. The advisory follows on the heels of a report that police had arrested a serial rapist operating in the Chaguanas area last week. After several incidents reported in the Enterprise area, officers carried out extensive investigations and arrested a 24-year-old Chaguanas man in relation to a number of incidents. Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday, ASP Joanne Archie said: “Although the police are working hard to ensure that citizens are safe and protected, everyone has a part to play and must take all steps to ensure their personal safety.” Highlighting the issue of date rape, Archie urged women to “conduct proper inquiries before proceeding on a first or blind date. “If you have to meet someone, do it in a public place and always let someone know who you are going with and what your itinerary is.”
Cautioning women against leaving a social event with someone they had just met, Archie said: “Open your drinks yourself and do not accept drinks from someone you just met. “Always make sure you have your eye on your drink and can see it at all times.” Advising young men “not to be coerced by a group or your so-called friends to engage in any sexual act with someone who may be highly intoxicated, either under the influence of alcohol or a drug, since that person may be unable to consent, and you can be held responsible.”
To people whose friends might be engaged in such acts, Archie said: “If you believe that a person is unable to give consent at that time or you believe they are being coerced into a sexual act, demand the perpetrator stop and call the police.” She also reminded both males and females under the age of 16 that “even if they are willing partners,” they can be criminally liable if found to be engaged in such acts, as by law, they cannot give consent.
For women travelling late at night, Archie said: “Trust your instincts and listen to your intuition. Whilst you may think a PH vehicle with a female passenger is safe for you to enter, this may not always be the case.” She also urged people to text the number of the vehicle they were getting into to a relative or friend, and that if worried about personal safety, they should get out, preferably in a busy area.