THE NGO Womantra says Venezuelan women are under attack in this country.
Womantra said statistics from a recent joint select committee hearing showed there were 484 complaints of sexual assault by immigrants over a six-year period. For these assaults, no one was arrested.
The group is now questioning why the Police Commissioner has not spoken on the issue.
“Where is Gary Griffith? Why hasn’t he come out and addressed the public in light of these ghastly crimes against the Venezuelan community living in TT? We continue to demand that the police be held accountable for their silence in times of great significance.”
Members said they cannot remain silent when Venezuelan women are being sexually assaulted, kidnapped, and exploited.
In a media release, Womantra said it was standing in solidarity with all the victims, as there now needs to be a shift in consciousness among the local population that not only acknowledges the crimes as a legitimate threat to TT's national security but must also demand justice for these women and their families.
“From misogynistic discourse encoded in soca music to physical acts of violence and the exploit of their labour due to immigrants' status, we recognise and grimace at the ways these women suffer.” the release said.
“In June a Venezuelan woman was kidnapped at a fake job interview and taken to a location where she was sexually assaulted. In May, another woman was at home with her partner when they were robbed and she was sexually assaulted.”
The most recent attack occurred last Tuesday against an 18-year-old Venezuelan woman. The teen got into a "PH" taxi from Fyzabad to be taken to San Fernando where she was abducted and sexually assaulted, stabbed and beaten. She is now at the San Fernando General Hospital.
A policeman was detained in connection with this crime and is expected to be charged.