Archdeacon James Palacious of the Anglican Church is again in hot water with the public. Last time, he ventured an opinion on Majority Rule Day 2017 saying that Black people have too many children. Now he is quoted as saying in response to a statement by the police that women should not dress provocatively at the Junkanoo parade or else be subject to sexual assault, that if you dress like a prostitute then you will be treated like one. This has drawn the ire of the feminist community in particular, who says that the problem is that men just don’t get it. The religious patriarchy that opposed the gender equality referendum for women they claim is at work again blaming the victim for a sexual assault on her, rather than on the perpetrator. The Archdeacon was seeking to quiet the storm about the police statement issued for the annual Junkanoo parade but it appears he has started another one. On 29th December, however, the Archdeacon had second thoughts and issued this apology and explanation:
“In retrospect, my statements should have emphasised more the need for men to restrain themselves and not grope females. Such behaviour is criminal and the police’s warning should have emphasised that rather than just refer to the way women are dressed. Our police do an excellent job of constantly emphasising zero tolerance policies as it pertains to things like drugs, burglary and murder, the same sort of passionate energy should be used to emphasise the pursuit of justice for crimes against women. As a society, the conversation should move from a focus on women’s clothing to the way we treat and respect women and each other at large.
“Because this emphasis was missing from my original discourse, there is good reason for me to be accused of blaming the victim, and for that – the idea that the victim is anyway responsible – I apologise.
“I have been vocal about my support of gender equality. Furthermore, both newspapers reported my unequivocal stand of support for legislation to criminalise marital rape. This is a position I held from 2009 and is more representative of the high esteem in which I hold womanhood and the rights of woman over their bodies whether they are married or not.
“We must teach men proper respect and appreciation for women.
“Once again, I apologise for statements that could very well be seen as victim blaming.