Attorney says age of consent debate is a wider societal issue

“I think the approach we need to take is a societal shift; a cultural shift. Why do we see such high numbers of young persons with older partners?” Monique Francis Gordon queried on the Big Issues programme yesterday.

“It’s not just with the brush-passing legislation and raising the age limit to 18. If the underlying reason that ‘I am having sex’ is for monetary gain, we need to look at it from a societal point of view.”

Government is considering raising the age of consent due to an increase in all forms of sex crimes in 2014.

Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin said last week that he intends to start the discussion soon with the relevant government and non-governmental organisations on increasing the age of consent in order to clamp down on sexual offences.

But Gordon said taking up the age would not solve the problem of increased statistics where sexual offences are concerned.

“It actual serves to criminalise more young people because when we look at it you recognise what they are trying to get at is a situation of young persons with adult partners. But what about young persons with young partners?” the attorney asked.

Also joining the discourse was UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean Khin Sandi Lwin who agreed with the statements made by the attorney.


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