DEMANDING JUSTICE: Indian university students shout slogans during a protest march in New Delhi yesterday. The gang-rape of an Indian woman last month has triggered protests all over India over the treatment of women in India. The rape victim died at hospital. —Photo: AFP

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Great example for Trini women

After the brutal rape and savage beating of the young medical student in India two weeks ago, sales of pepper spray in that nation have increased 100-fold. The average store would sell about three cans a week but now the item is selling at the rate of 30 to 40 a day!

What about our country where women are raped every day (just listen to the news and read the newspapers ) and are subject to the most vile forms of verbal harassment on the streets?

Is pepper spray sold anywhere in Trinidad? Someone informed me that they believe it is illegal! If this is the case that is totally absurd and stupid! Pepper spray is simple, light and easily concealed, and very effective in defending against sexual molestation and assault.

If it is banned in T&T that ban should be lifted as soon as possible because we Trini women have the right to defend ourselves.

From what I understand you direct a good dose of pepper spray towards a rapist's eyes and he will not only be blinded but his eyes will burn like hell fire. This will give the victim time to escape.

I am very proud of the women in India as they have taken to the streets in their hundreds of thousands in every city and town and village! They are saying that enough is enough! It is time that their government and the police take steps to protect their daughters, sisters, and mothers by getting rid of stupid laws, rogue police officers and corrupt politicians and bring harsher penalties for those found guilty of rape.

The women demonstrators in India with their candlelight vigils are saying that they should be respected as they go about their business on the streets and they should not have to be subjected to filthy comments in public.

The women in India, supported by the good, decent men of that nation, have shown true grit and determination and we should admire them for this.

When are the women in Trinidad and Tobago going to finally say with one voice "enough is enough"?

Will we ever have the courage to put aside our religious, political, ethnic and cultural differences and our social status and come out together and send a clear message to men to stop harassing us and respect us? We can do it peacefully but vocally within the confines of the law. Or will we continue to remain silent, pretend we don't hear the rude comments we get in public, and take the humiliation silently like lambs?

It is a sad reflection on our country that nearly every day we pick up the newspaper and read about some serial rapist on a rampage in some part of our country, or a woman waking up in the middle of the night to find a man in her bedroom ready to pounce on her, or a little girl or grandma being the latest rape victim.

When will we Trini women be free to walk the streets free from molestation from sickos? Maybe this is an elusive dream but at least our sisters in India are taking a stand. I salute them for their bravery and courage.

Shivanna Dipnarine

via e-mail

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