Rape & Grievous Sexual Assault

Currently, the legal definition and popular conception of rape provides only for the unwanted penetration of a vagina by a penis. The definition of sexual intercourse biases the interpretation of rape (Section 3(1)) of the Sexual Offences Act does not include anal or oral penetration or penetration by objects other than the penis. J-FLAG acknowledges that this is captured in Section 4. However, J-FLAG believes that the terms rape and sexual intercourse must to be broadened and should not be gender biased, use gender-specific language for the victim or the perpetrator or ignore the variations of how men and women have sex.

In an effort to acknowledge the diverse sexual experiences of people, and the various ways that they can be victims of rape or sexual assault, we support revisions to the current definition of rape to include any type of unwanted insertion of an erectile object in not just the vagina, but the anus or mouth.

Additionally, J-FLAG recognizes that various degrees of unwanted sexual contact exist and that the legal punishment for each of these must be appropriate.

Hate Crimes & Violence

J-FLAG condemns all acts motivated by animus and hate, especially acts of physical violence inflicted on a person.Perpetrators of crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons falsely claim a legal, moral and/or religious imperative for their actions.

These justifications, although popular in the court of public opinion, should have no standing in the courts of Jamaica. The only legitimate reason for a citizen to inflict physical harm upon another is in self-defence or defence of others or property, and even then, violence is allowable only to the extent required to overcome the threat. There is no justification for anyone to inflict violence upon an individual, and in particular LGBT persons on the ground of stereotypes such as a particular type of dress, language, or mannerism.

Hate crimes can be defined as any illegal activity that is motivated by a personal dislike for a target group of people. Hate crimes may be directed toward the entire group, individuals who are members of the group, or places and objects associated with the group. Hate crimes may range from simple vandalism or theft to physical assault or homicide. They are typically, though not always, directed at minority groups.

Throughout Jamaica’s history, many groups have been victims of hate crimes because of their religion, ethnic, economic, political, or sexual orientation. Today, homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender persons as well as heterosexuals who are perceived to be LGBT, or who support the causes of sexual and gender minorities, are increasingly subject to hate crimes.

All crimes have negative consequences for the victim, significant others, the community and society. Furthermore, a special case can be made for hate crimes because they seriously impact on both the individual victim and the larger groups to which s/he belongs’