Dancehall / News

Dancehall Icon Tanya Stephens Calls Out Jamaicans Who Comfort Rapists

Singjay Tanya Stephens this morning ripped into lovers of Reggae music, many of whom she says are quick to exonerate people who have been accused of rape and other types of sexual assault.

“You know Jamaica and extended community and reggae lovers especially. It always amazes me the speed at which you rush to comfort and reassure and support people accused of rape. It always f*ckin amazes me that you are so sure, people you are not standing next to, you are not in their environment and you don’t know them. You are always so sure they are innocent. And what I find extremely excruciatingly painfully amazing,” Tanya said in a video post on IG.

“Big ups to oonu. Big up oonu bl**dclaat self!” Stephens who says she too is a survivor of rape, added sarcastically. “Me feel torn and me hate the 14 p*ussyclaat parish! Who me nuh hate fi dem noise me hate fi dem f***ing silence! #rapeculture,” the artiste also noted under the video in response to a comment from a fan.

In late 2016, at the height of the Bill Cosby rape debacle, Stephens had opened up on Facebook about being raped as a teenager, more than two decades ago. At the time, she wrote in an 841-word post that she was violated twice, first at age 17 and then again at age 19.

“I was first raped at age 17 by someone many of you glorify. I watch you call him a good man, and I hear you demonise me for “talking about rape too much”,” the Boom Wuk artiste wrote at the time.

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Yeah…big up oonu

A post shared by Tanya 'Gangsta Blues' Stephens (@iamtanyastephens) on

Stephens had said one of the men in question was popular, that she was a ‘nobody’ and that he had proclaimed himself to be a ‘big brother’ for her. As a consequence, she said, she did not report the incident because she was sure that nobody would believe her due to the man’s status and reputation in the music industry.

“When I was told I was too young to be hanging out at studios he came and reassured my big sister I would be safe,” she had noted.

The second time she said, she was gang-raped by a man she thought to be her boyfriend and his cronies, including the son of a law enforcer, which she said, along with the shame, was the main reason she did not report that matter either.

She said her self-esteem was in tatters and that she bore the brunt of rape jokes and was even pointed out in public by women as “di gyal deh weh dem battery a Frontier”. Even members of the crew of which she was a part which used to perform at local dances, ostracized her.

“MANY times I attempted to tell family members. COUNTLESS. EVERYBODY had up a block,’ she wrote.