Saint Lucia
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PWA Condemns Victim Shaming, Urges Probe Into RSLPF Sexual Harassment – St. Lucia Times

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The President of the Police Welfare Association (PWA), Camron Laure, has condemned victim shaming amid calls for an independent inquiry into sexual harassment allegations in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).

Laure said he had learned that several people, including civilians, had contacted the PWA executive regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

“After receiving this information, I as President would have understood the period of time which this situation persisted. I took all necessary steps to ensure that these persons had indeed reached out to the Welfare Association and that persons in authority were aware of the allegations,” he told reporters.

Laure recalled writing the then Police Commissioner, Crusita Descartes-Pelius, to investigate or at least hear the individuals who had reported the allegations.

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He said Descartes-Pelius indicated she would respond in writing, but so far, there had been no response.

Laure declared that it was not the PWA’s responsibility nor within its purview to pronounce guilt or innocence on any issue.

But he explained the organisation’s mandate was to ensure fair hearings for members to air their grievances and intervene on their behalf.

“There is an internal culture of victim shaming and blame which we wish to address,” Laure told a news conference Friday.

In this regard, he asserted that every police officer is entitled to a safe workplace.

And he disclosed that a request for a probe into the sexual harassment allegations had seen attacks of the worst kind against the PWA.

Laure noted that the attacks had been internal and external.

He asserted that the development was unacceptable and would not be tolerated.

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“At no point should it be accepted that people are run through the mud for simply requesting work places be made safe, investigations be pursued and that the integrity of the organisation be maintained,” the PWA President told Friday’s news conference.

Laure said it was a sad day for democracy when seeking to represent officers attracts allegations of attempting to undermine the government or influence the process of selecting a police commissioner.

“Every Commissioner during the executive’s tenure past and present has been met with good faith and full support,” the PWA President stated.

In addition, he declared that the attacks against the PWA would not prevail.

Laure said the sexual harassment issue predated the current PWA executive and was no new issue of conversation within the RSLPF.

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