Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has apologised “unreservedly” for what he called the lack of sensitivity displayed during a discussion of the issue of sexual harassment.
Chuck said he fully recognised the courage and strength of victims of sexual harassment who speak out against offenders, and stated that, in fact, in his other contributions to the discussion he encouraged women to report and bring criminal charges against men who touch them without invitation.
The statement, with the header 'Sexual harassment is no laughing matter', reads:
“To hear Jamaica's Minister of Justice make light of the challenges that attend victims of sexual abuse and harassment well beyond the 12-month period which he proposes for the reporting time, brings to mind a kind of justice that is for 'just us'.
“The 'just-us' sentiments in the minister's statements also implied that women were the only ones who suffer at the hands of sexual violators; women can be sexual violators; men can be victims of sexual violation; sexual violation can be same-sex as it can be heterosexual.
Whoever is the victim of sexual harassment or abuse, the violation can be so traumatic that in a bid to survive, a victim may repress his or her memory for years yet act out the trauma of the violation.