July 13, 2016 – We are deeply saddened by the tragic turn of events in relation to the missing Sorineida Moreno – Arias.
Our hearts go out to her family especially the children and the entire Dominican community. Another young life has been snuffed out by a heartless coward who played god for a moment and in a cruel and senseless act robbed children of their mother and family and friends of their loved one. This senseless act highlights a number of pressing national issues and we can ill afford to allow this crime to go unsolved. The Police have stated that they are looking for a blue Nissan March and if there are those of us among us, as I do believe there always is, who know something and do not speak, then you are equally as guilty. I invite us to not pass judgment and be insensitive in our comments. Victims of crime can and should never be blamed for crimes against them. All lives matter and everyone deserve the right to be safe in all situations. I had prayed for her safe return but am grateful that she has been found so that her family can have closure and give her a proper farewell.
Unfortunately, I must state again how disappointed I am that an image of the deceased has been making its way around on social media. I call on persons to cease such a thing and to respect the victim and her family. It is insensitive and disrespectful to all women, as an act against one must be seen by other women as an act against all.
This issue also highlights the need for a Rapid Response Task Force for missing persons, particularly women and children. I praise the Dominican community for their efforts and the other nationalities who helped in one or another. The need to preserve crime scenes when applicable is critical and the protection of the body from unauthorised photographs must be of paramount importance, not just for the rights of the victim and their families but to not expose evidence to a receiving public that may include the perpetrator. We must catch up in crime fighting and response. Times and criminals have changed and we must employ new tactics and tools. Whilst we appreciate the limited resources, we can not embrace that reason and must demand that more be done.
Crime though low in comparison to neighboring countries is still at a level that we should never accept. Crime is a serious concern for my Party which is why we have rolled out a 12 point crime plan that is all encompassing. We invite the authorities to look at it and do what is best for our people.
I am personally seriously concerned about the safety of our women and children and earlier this year I raised this concern as it relates to transportation by jitney. This cry like others has fallen on deaf ears. It was only a few days ago that I submitted a parliamentary question requesting the statistics (inclusive of numbers and types of offenses) relating to crime against women and this question should be answered at the next House Meeting on July 25, 2016. Last year when we passed laws to increase the rights of women, we saw two heinous crimes against women and I spoke to both in a joint release. We have since heard and seen more incidents that ought to encourage all sisters to speak out and stand together.
To all women and all residents alike, we must not make take our safety for granted and we must be wise in our decisions and take no unnecessary risks.
I encourage us all to speak out from where we stand especially those who have information about this and other crimes . Crime Stoppers at 1800TIPS welcomes tips and you will remain anonymous.