STATEMENT TO THE PRESS FROM WOMEN IN ACTION NETWORK (WiAN) – 8th July 2022
The Women in Action Network (WiAN) has taken note of the prideful and dismissive stance taken by Minister Wilfred Abrahams towards the women of this nation. Organizations of women young and old have been asking the Minister for answers via an update on the wellbeing of the girls at the Government Industrial School (GIS), reports from the 2021 investigation and the report on the 2022 investigation. As these reports appear not to be forthcoming it would perhaps be easier for the Minister to answer direct questions. We want to know who is responsible for the maltreatment of the girls in the care of the State at GIS and therefore put the following questions to the Minister:
What was the basis for deciding on who was to be interviewed by the recent panel?
Did the panel interview the former House Mistress who signed the reports that were written for her?
Why was the Watchman not interviewed?
Why did the panel not interview wards who complained severely about the maltreatment at GIS?
Why did the panel not interview the girl who had to endure a broken jaw for 2 weeks before seeing a doctor?
Why did the panel not interview the girl who was kicked around on the ground by three staffers for her refusal to go into solitary confinement?
What are the qualifications of the Supervisors on staff?
It is alleged that staff is trying to keep a certain 15 year old girl incarcerated and sedated on psychotropic drugs to prevent her from talking. Is this allegation true?
Have you investigated the repeated allegation of men having liberal access to incarcerated girls after sun down?
Have you investigated practices of staffers throwing water on girls who are stripped naked and locked up in the cells?
Was the Permanent Secretary who sanctioned the actions of the GIS administration also interviewed by the panel?
The next list of questions based on diary entries by an incarcerated teenage girl will address allegations of the Principal taking over the role of privately welcoming girls to GIS upon their arrival.
Mr. Minister how will the reports of 2021 and 2022 be reconciled with your alleged statement at a staff meeting assuring staff that you will be standing behind them 100% and that you don’t mind if you are sacked as you have been an Attorney for 27 years and can go back to your law practice?
Honourable Minister, if one child is abused, that is one child too many. Who is going to be held accountable?