Wed, 21 Oct 2020 07:19:55 +0000
Unsafe nation for young women
DR GABRIELLE JAMELA HOSEIN
I’VE STRUGGLED with what to express other than haunting sadness at the killing of Tenil Cupid, and my condolences to her family and her children. I’ve wanted to write a column printed with blank space, where words would otherwise fill the page, to compel a pause, a moment of quiet, when we all still our steps, as we do for the national anthem, to remember that she was just 23 years old. We are a nation where young women are not safe, where they cannot love and choose to leave, and where men’s lethal violence produces generational trauma, pulling both boys and girls into its cycle.
I’ve struggled because statistics predict such pain and loss. All the recent studies of violence prevalence in the Caribbean, from Guyana to Jamaica to Grenada to TT, point to established risk factors in young Tenil Cupid’s life.
First, entering intimate relationships before 18 years old, particularly with much older male partners (who are legally sexual predators committing the crime of rape and child sexual abuse).
Second, motherhood and, especially, adolescent motherhood, for example, beginning at 15 years old and continuing through teenage years with multiple births.
Third, limited education, as well as relatively