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We need good men to speak up




By Jayne Flores  

I have always taught my children that if you see something that is wrong, you need to speak up. Well, something 

is wrong,  and since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I am speaking up. 


To all of the good men out there. The men who don’t sexually assault women and children. Men and male teenagers who, if they get angry or drunk, their go-to is not to rape the first female they come across. Or the men who don’t prey on a young girl in the family and then whisper that nefarious, “Don’t tell anyone.”

 

In 2023, 73 percent of the criminal sexual conduct cases reported to the Guam

 Police Department were against minors.


 In 2022 it was 83%. Since this year began, various Guam media have reported at least 23 arrests for sexual assault, with this horrible trend continuing.

 

Among the cases highlighted from January through March of this year were the following:

·         44-year-old convicted perpetrator, victim nine or 10 when abuse started, reported it at age 15. Perp sentenced to 30 years but is appealing, judge released him while case is on appeal. Perp wearing an ankle monitor; survivor of perp’s sick desires is now an adult;

·         30-year-old alleged perpetrator; victim 13 years old;

·         39-year-old alleged perpetrator; victim 15, abused for two years;

·         37- year-old alleged perpetrator; abuse started when victim was in 6th grade. Complaint states the girl told an adult “who promised to talk to (the alleged perp) about his conduct.” The adult did not contact police, according to the complaint. The report did not say whether the adult talked to the alleged creep about stopping what he was doing to the girl;

·         22-year-old alleged perpetrator; victim now 15, abuse occurred in 2020 (Reminder to all of these creeps - Guam no longer has a statute of limitation on rape, because the trauma you inflict stays with the survivor for life.);

·         64-year-old registered sex offender; new victim 12-year-old boy;

·         40-year-old alleged perpetrator; victim 13 years old, abuse occurred in 2023 and January 2024;

·         Another 64-year-old alleged perpetrator; victim nine years old, says perp told her, “Don’t tell anybody”;

·         44-year-old Level 1 sex offender; new victim15 years old;

·         25-year-old alleged perpetrator; victim says abuse occurred in 2018 and 2020 when she was in elementary school;

·         Another 64-year-old perpetrator who had lived off island for several years. When he returned, a now-19-year-old woman accused him of sexual assault when she was nine. Then a 17-year-old came forward and accused this same man of sexual assault when she was a child. The now- convicted perpetrator faces life behind bars;

·         69-year-old alleged perpetrator; victim 22-year-old severely autistic female.


 One of the most heinous cases, because it shows how men are passing down to subsequent generations their desire to attack young girls, is one reported on March 4, where three men and a 16-year-old boy are charged with multiple accounts of sexual assault against two girls, ages 11 and 13. The alleged perpetrators, ages 56, 41 and 34, two with the same last name, were what? Telling each other, “Hey, chelu, you can tap that one cuz she won’t say anything.”?


Well guess what? These girls and young women are now starting to stand up for themselves. Because between the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, Island Girl Power, VARO, and other non-profit organizations, our efforts to encourage women and girls to report these assaults are making a difference.

 

More women and girls are reporting what up to this point is still the most

underreported crime anywhere on the globe.

 

And the government is doing something. Our $700,000 Rural grant from the

federal Office of Violence Against Women is helping GPD create a Special Victims Division to work with its Domestic Assault Response Team, to help sexual assault victims receive more services.

 

But what our community really needs is more preventive help. We need the good men on the periphery of these creeps in their families to say something to these guys BEFORE the abuse happens. To tell them: “STOP what you are doing. It is wrong and against the law and you will go to jail.” Stop them from the lap sitting, from the unwanted touching and kissing, from sexually assaulting a female relative for any reason. Take the alcohol away when you see someone has had enough. Don’t let them get so blind drunk that they don’t remember what they did.

 

The lame excuse that you don’t have the right “to tell another man what to do” is cowardly. You know who in your families has these proclivities.


The girls all know the creepy relative they need to stay away from. Stand up for these young people BEFORE they become victims. Don’t just look the other way while their lives are irreparably damaged because the go-to of a father, papa, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin or worse - your son - is to sexually assault a child - or anyone for that matter.

 

A March 8th media report highlights WHY it is important for good men to step up here.

 

The report centered around the sentencing of a 54-year-old former CHamoru

 teacher found guilty of molesting a 14-year-old male student. His defense attorney asked for a minimum of five years; prosecutor Christine Tenorio pushed for a maximum of 20.

 

The victim wrote to the court, "Everything messed me up through freshman year because of you. You caused all this pain and suffering ... I went to 

a darker side of myself for so long but that meant nothing to you.”

 

The victim’s mother told the perpetrator, "You have destroyed my son,

traumatized my son, he is not the same happy, humble, humorous child I raised.”


Yet, when given a chance by Judge Cenzon to make a statement that might 

impact her decision, this man reportedly said, "I'm just really sorry for

everything that happened... I'm just living a nightmare."

 

The perps are not the ones living the nightmare. The victims are. Which is why that man is spending the next 20 years behind bars.


We need the good men – and yes, women – within their family units, extended families, or respective communities to publicly denounce this behavior.


 As the BWA public service announcement about male behaviors and sexual assault says, “Don’t let anyone you know be that guy.”

 

If you don’t want to confront someone directly - or you are afraid to (which 

is a legitimate fear in some cases) then report the guy to the police. Because these males are destroying lives - mostly young lives. And there are good people around these perps who have the power to stop them before the abuse happens.

They just need to step up and do it.


Jayne Flores is the director of the Bureau of Women's Affairs.

 


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