Senator McSally from the United States once said,
"I felt the system was raping me all over again."
Being a journalist, we somewhat hold a certain power to bring the correct information to the community. Sometimes, it gets hard because we hear things, the community shares information with us as if we were lawyers that can solve their case because we have contacts.
In some cases, people want and expect us to expose certain things and stories without having any evidence. Aruba, right now, is going through several situations.
When the COVID-19 got into our territory, some of us were scared, worried and had mixed feelings on how it would affect our small Island. Aruba’s economy depends on tourism. If the tourism falls, the whole island basically paralyzes.
While this article is not about the economy, as a writer, I have to illustrate the broad of the story to get to my main point.
When the government decided to close the borders because the cases were going up, it meant no more income. Hotels shut-down, various people lost their jobs, restaurants had no other option than to lower their prices to appeal to locals. People started to get creative to get income, and some businesses kept pushing through with obviously less income.
Banks froze mortgages and debts. The government came with this ‘Fase’ plan, which is a total disaster from what I hear from the community to help those who lost their job for a monthly allowance to sustain with food and utilities. I can explain further, but what was more concerning is the social problems that started to grow even more than it was before.
The ‘one happy island’ is not as happy as we thought. Not to speak negatively of my country, my home, because I believe our island is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places you can ever be. But despite being happy it has its dark sides.
The social problems, not the usual income, poor families become even poorer. Not the usual big plate to eat. People have money but prefer to drink their money and waste it in unnecessary things. Not only that, now the government has issues, no money, most part of the island wants the Netherlands to take over for an amount of time to resolve the finance part.
The coalition somewhat felt like they were drifting apart. Problems in the justice system, problems with the teaching department, problems with corruption, problems with the tax department and problems with pedophiles and the absurd system, but this last main issue has been hidden for a lot of years and people still consider it a taboo that needs to stay at home.
On the third of July 2020, there was a big manifestation. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the courthouse. Then, to the parliament and the ‘Bestuurskantoor’ to give them the signatures and the manifestation on the change they want to see in the system.
Different groups formed and are trying so hard to see a change. But how can we see this change? Raping is not going to stop. I have friends who raped. They were taken advantage of because they were drunk. I have friends who were judged by being the rapists. I know older men that have raped underage girls. More than two months have passed and still? No solution, no change. Everyone is quiet while the victims are suffering.
It is frustrating to see all these cases, and still, nothing is being acted upon. The cases started to come forward without evidence because no one wanted to come forward when it happened, 10, 20, 30-year-old cases. Children are abused by one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen. Yes, I named it all, because they all deserve to be heard.
I believe in each one of them, even when there is zero evidence. A kid does not lie about these things. The number of people that went through an abuse brought tears to my eyes. How can a small island that I consider peaceful and hear these stories by women and men that went through abuse that broke their peace, their innocence lost at a young age?
As a journalist, I interviewed people who were abused, psychologist, teachers, psychiatrist and anyone that can be involved in a kid’s life after abuse. You hear all these different stories and backgrounds, it is heartbreaking.
The Parliament held a meeting about this topic and, yet, no solution. Maybe they simply do not see it as a priority? Now, with this pandemic, it makes it difficult to make an approach, the groups that are manifesting have ‘calmed down’ and no one is doing anything anymore. But, abuse is still taking place every day all around the island.
I’m against the system that protects the paedophiles or sex offenders and child molesters. But what are we going to do? As an island? As a community? What is there to help these vulnerable human beings? How do we help thousands of houses?
You see, a person who has been through that never forget about that nightmare. It is like when we have our first, our first love, beautiful isn’t it? For us, a memory we will always hold on to, but to them, it's a nightmare that will be for them for the rest of their lives. I know that not many will read this... but if you are or have a desire for a child’s body or want to force someone (rape)... please get help. No is no… respect that.
For a kid, do not destroy their peace, their innocence, their pure mind... It may have happened to you as a kid... I am truly sorry for that. I can’t imagine what you went through and now bringing it to another. But for now, the system is a terrible one and we hope for a change.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme.