Head of the Gender-Based Violence Unit (GBVU) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), acting Supt Claire Guy-Alleyne said women should not be deterred from making reports to the police, as the perpetrators must be caught and brought to justice.
Following a report in the Sunday Express in which a 23-year-old woman related her ordeal of being raped by Joel Balcon, aka Devon Charles, the main suspect in the kidnap-murder of 23-year-old Andrea Bharatt, and how the police dismissed her attempt to report the crime, Guy-Alleyne said that situation was unfortunate.
In an Express report today, Guy-Alleyne advised that if a rape victim encounters a police officer who is being dismissive of such a report, she should immediately ask to speak with a senior officer on duty and, if the victim is still not pleased with the treatment, she can head to another police station to lodge the report.
She added “if the matter is not dealt with sensitively, the victim will get frustrated and walk out of the police station and that is not what we want. The aim is to catch the perpetrator and put them behind bars.”
In the event that you are raped, Guy-Alleyne offered a few tips on making a report:
-Do not bathe or even wash your clothes as it is evidential value for the officers.
-Proceed immediately to the nearest police station and make the report.
-Ask for a receipt when making a report, so that they would know the name and rank of the police officer you dealt with.
Guy-Alleyne said the victim will then be interviewed in a private room; a medical examination would be done by the district medical officer and clothing will be seized, photographed and packaged. And, a sketch artist is brought in for the officers to get a clearer idea on who they are searching for.