The National Women’s League of the People’s National Movement has condemned the killing of teenager Ashanti Riley and the “countless other women who have been victims of violence.”
In a statement on Saturday, the PNM’s Women’s League recognised the pain on social media and the pictures of women who are still missing.
“We stand in solidarity with the family and loved ones of Ashanti Riley whose precious life was violently taken this past week.
“As a mark of respect to her life we cry out for swift justice and the full arm of the law now,” the release demanded.
“Heinous acts such as these must never become our acceptable norm and are a grave reminder that we must continue to be vigilant against all acts of violence against our nation’s women.
“We must refuse and will never accept, that our women can just be snuffed out by the demons in human form walking among us. We implore our sisters to please be vigilant and be each other’s keepers. We implore our communities to become watchdogs for our women’s safekeeping.
“We implore our brothers to hold yourselves and hold each other accountable for their actions and behaviour especially those who seek to harm our women and children.
“And finally we implore the authorities to continue to treat with urgency every report of missing women and to move swiftly to find our women,” the group demanded.
In the release, the PNM’s women’s league said it condemned those who "victim-shamed and blamed" women for the violent acts perpetrated against them.
“We say that this is a part of the problem which delays the rapid response needed when our women go missing.
“It is a sad for all women of Trinidad and Tobago who feel unsafe in our beloved country,” the league said.
It added, “Well today it stops and we will not allow the murder of Ashanti Riley to go unsolved and will no longer accept this war upon our women.
“The Women’s League will not be standing idly by,” it said, as it announced plans to provide a series of workshops on self-defense for women.
“We are calling for sensitivity workshops for our law enforcement officials as well. We will be lobbying our legislative arms to reflect our views.
“We say loudly, you touch one, you have touched all. You kill one, we the many will come, we the many will rise, and we the many will win in the name of justice for our daughters, for our nieces, for our granddaughter, for Ashanti Riley and all our sisters,” the league said.