I join in the call for Mayor of Port of Spain Raymond Tim Kee to be dismissed as Mayor with immediate effect. An apology is not enough.
His statement in response to the unfortunate death of young Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya is a slap in the face of all women particularly those who have been victims of abuse as well as those who are advocates against abuse of women. Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them. Advocates against violence towards women and girls constantly seek to mitigate the perception of victims as responsible.
The utterances of Mayor Tim Kee are an insult to decades of activism by those who stand against violence against women as well as psychologists who constantly work in the field victimology. While we may have personal opinions on what is acceptable public dress-code, the behavior or attire of any woman ought never to be seen as an invitation to rape or murder.
The statement by the Mayor suggests that the young woman was responsible for her own death, and that women encourage abuse by their behaviour and by what they wear.
Internationally, many strides have been made through education and awareness to change the mentality that victims of abuse and rape or any other crime are to be blamed and to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice. In Trinidad and Tobago, the NGOs, academics, activists and other stakeholders require the support of people who hold public office to make education surrounding these matters more widespread. Rapists are responsible for rapes, not victims. Killers are responsible for murders, not victims.
This Japanese young woman adopted the steel pan as hers and listed ‘steel pannist’ as her occupation. We should be proud of her. On behalf of the UNC, we offer our sincere condolences to her family.
We trust that the authorities would do everything in their power to see that justice is done. Mr. Tim Kee’s insensitive, uninformed and insulting position is indicative that he is unfit to hold public office and as such I call on him to be immediately dismissed as Mayor.
Deputy Political Leader, United National Congress