Today’s Editorial March 19: New death raises fears

Residents on Grand Cayman are once again feeling vulnerable, especially women.

We learned the worst in the fate of a woman Tuesday afternoon when her body was found in a remote area of East End. Police haven’t identified the body as that of missing Sabrina Schirn, but family members who found the body are convinced that it is the missing 21-year-old.

We don’t know what happened to the woman, but there is much speculation circulating along the Marl Road.

Much of the information is incorrect and a lot of it is creating fear.

The death of the woman comes on the heels of the killing of former Cable and Wireless Communications Manager Estella Scott-Roberts, 33, in October. Her body was found in a burned-out car in Barkers in West Bay.

Two men are in jail charged with Estella’s murder.

Earlier this month a woman was kidnapped in West Bay and taken into the Barkers area by her alleged abductor. The 29-year-old escaped physical harm after she managed to get away from her kidnapper and run to nearby Pappagallo Restaurant for help. No arrests have been made in the abduction.

Again, we don’t know how the woman whose body was found Tuesday died or how it came to be located on a dirt road near the quarry off High Rock Road.

Once again we remind everyone in the Cayman Islands to take stock of their surroundings, especially women, when they are out alone and particularly at night.

Be aware of your surroundings and remember that if you sense or see a potential problem, change your route and get ready to run.

Never leave your car unlocked as the West Bay woman who was abducted did. She was just making a quick run into a store. And always check your car before getting in it.

If you are attacked, use your environment. Everything around you has the potential to be a weapon.

Scream, scratch, bite, hit, kick or attack with a common object. Most women carry handbags that can be used to strike or strangle and many contain potential legal weapons, such as a lipstick case that can be poked into someone’s eye, a hair brush to strike across the eyes of the attacker and perfume sprays that can be squirted into the eyes.

For those who want to be better armed, many groups and organisations offer self-defence classes in the Cayman Islands.

Once again we implore the Department and Ministry of Education to implement self-defence courses in all schools to teach students how to protect themselves from attackers. If they learn it early enough, the lessons will be carried with them their entire lives.

Our thoughts and prayers go out the family of the woman whose body was found Tuesday.

We also pray that this is the last such tragedy that occurs in the Cayman Islands and that anyone responsible is caught and justice meted out swiftly.

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