Prostitution figures lick mi fi six
Mi good, nice and clean peeps, how unuh do? Mi naw tell nuh lie, mi head ah hurt mi! Dem days yah wi have nuff different reason fi get headache, but last week one new one reach mi!
Mi a talk bout di breaking news weh di people dem seh more dan 80 per cent of females in the Mount Salem community inna St James involve inna some kinda prostitution. Mi a hear correct?! Mi really hope seh a mistake dem a mek, although dat deh one deh woulda be a major error! Good and great God, tek di case an gimme di pillow!
Readers will recall that the Government declared Mount Salem, the first zone of special operations. Under the new law passed by Parliament, zone of special operations (ZOSOs) are to combat the high crime levels in Jamaica. In addition to empowering the authorities to find murderers and other criminals, one aspect of the new legislation is to implement badly needed social intervention in any community declared a 'zone', to improve that community and reduce the risk of criminal activity after the relevant intervention period is over.
It is in this context that various surveys are done and questions asked to ascertain the state of the communities, to help to ascertain why crime flourished and determine the level of social intervention and resources needed.
Di revelation dat so many females involve inna prostitution lick mi fi six! A wah a gwaan dung inna Mount Salem so? If di statistics released a true, wi haffi ask whole heap ah questions. How many persons inna Mount Salem? Recent census did tek? How dem conduct di survey? Dem talk to every girl or woman who live deh? What kind of questions were asked? How dat deh place deh come to such a sorry state? What a gwaan wid our women there? If a only 45 to 50 girls/women dem interview, how can they 'broad-brush' the entire community with such a small focus group? Weh di parents, guardians, counsellors, mentors and other stakeholders who supposed fi look after di welfare a wi girl child dem? How many other place inna Jamaica tan so?
There is a school of thought that the figures should not have been released, etc, because that will stigmatise that community. We all know that people (especially children) can be cruel with name-calling and bullying. It is counterproductive to have women of an entire community bearing this 'scarlet letter' without proper and adequate research. If surveys make it harder for persons to strive and thrive, then we must rethink how they are done. On the other hand, it is also important that the truth be known so the country can know what is happening to its people. One cannot pursue a solution unless one knows and accepts that there is a problem.
This is a real cause for concern, because it has implications for the socio-economic welfare of the country, not to mention the moral fabric of the society. Prostitution has long been regarded as the oldest 'profession', but it has generally been acknowledged that this is not the way we want our boys and girls, men and women to make a living.
Even di 'practitioner' dem admit seh dem nuh like dat kinda living, but dem usually nuh have no choice and do it as a last resort! No man, wi haffi do better dan dis! Wah kinda example wi a set fi wi pickney dem?
The Government, central and local, and all other stakeholders must implement immediate measures to address this situation. I cannot but wonder what other 'secrets' will be revealed in the other zones to come
Until next time when mi talk di tings dem, mi gone soak mi head inna one warm towel and seh two Psalms! Mi too distressed fi even seh 'laalalalalalala'.