By BBN Staff: The Special Envoy for Women and Children lashed out at the Amandala newspaper on Monday afternoon via its Facebook account over a controversial headline that has caused much backlash on social-media.
The story, printed in its April 10, 2016 edition: “Girl, 13, said ‘yes’ to 4 men” has been condemned and criticized for what many on social-media has described as being insensitive to the victim.
“It is incredibly disturbing to see a headline like this published; outright blaming a 13 year old child for the horrific violation that she suffered at the hands of 4 men!” the Special Envoy wrote.
The Special Envoy went on to affirm that no child can consent to sex, regardless of the circumstances or what they may have said.
“She is a victim of unlawful sexual intercourse and is being victimized yet again by a national newspaper that chose to sensationalize a headline and put the child at fault, rather than the grown men who took advantage of her and committed this unlawful, heinous act. To call this irresponsible journalism is a gross understatement!” the Special Envoy continued.
Other prominent Belizeans also raised awareness about the issue, but none more than former PUP Senator Lisa Shoman, who first made light of the article.
“What kind of a society do we live in where the major newspaper publishes a headline like this one?
Apparently the Amandala thinks it is more sensational to make this front page headline in its April 10, 2016 edition about the 13 year old child, than about the 4 men who violated her.
This speaks volumes about how the paper, its editor and the reporter who by-lined the story, views girl children and sex,” Shoman charged.
“The Amandala treated this child as prey of another kind – fodder for a prurient headline – for no good reason other than to blame this child. I bun fyah pan dat,” she continued.