Women need pepper spray to fight rapists - Activist wants ban lifted
Women's rights advocate Latoya Nugent is calling on the Government to lift the ban on pepper spray because of the increase in the number of abductions and murders of women and children since the start of the year.
"I would want the Government to lift the ban, but not without the necessary precautionary measures. Because I understand that it can do a lot of damage and some persons may not know how to use it," Nugent said.
Nugent said: "I would like to be able to carry a pepper spray in my bag."
Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security Pearnel Charles Jr admits that the law should be evaluated in context of the country's evolving circumstances.
"We have to start understanding the justification for the ban in those circumstances, and assess whether in our current circumstances that justification is still relevant," he said. "Any protective device or mechanisms that would make our women feel safer must be considered."
Charles said he is also prepared to discuss the matter with his colleagues at the ministry.
With more than 25 women being killed by their spouses or exes in 2016, coupled with jaw-dropping fear of abduction that has been gripping the nation since the beginning of 2017, THE STAR understands that women have been arming themselves with pepper sprays.
A Corporate Area-based company that sells protective devices, including pepper spray, advertises the product on its Facebook page. One of its operators said that there is a need for women to be able to protect themselves.
"Police can't be everywhere so what they could do is encourage females to have protective devices," the operator said.
However, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay insisted that pepper sprays are still illegal, and the police will confiscate them if they are found on persons.