Jackee Burns breaks the status quo “silence” by: Aria Lightfoot

Jackee Burns- Picture taken a day before her violent rape

Belize has a well-known secret that is an uncomfortable truth to talk about.  Many women are victims of child sexual predators and rape. It is estimated that one in four women are victims of sexual abuse.  After writing my piece about Jasmine Lowe, several people shared their personal abuse experiences with me.  Fayemarie shared her personal experience on Twocanview.armchair-psychologists-why-he-is-not-a-monster-by-fayemarie-anderson-carter-ma

The nameless and faceless victims shared stories of well-respected men in the society who fondled and abused them. They shared stories of family members, neighbors, shopkeepers and strangers who were never brought to light or prosecuted for their deviancy because they either never came forward or when they did, those who should protect them preferred to pretend the abuse never happened.   Belize has unknowingly and unfortunately created an inviting culture for vultures and predators to thrive while sexual abuse becomes taboo and shameful for the victim.  Every night in Belize some child has “dark shadows” lurking in their bedrooms.

My story today is a powerful survivor named Jackee Burns, a teacher in Belmopan.  She shared her traumatic and chilling experiences first as a child and then as an adult victim of a violent rape.  She finally opened up to her mother knowing she was telling me this story.  She feels that each time she shares her story, a part of her continues to heal within.

Jackee Burns is a respected teacher and has a compelling story to tell.  She in her own way is fighting the status quo of silence and emerging as a trusted entity for victims. Jackee endured two traumatic experiences in her life, one as a five year old child who was unable to articulate her experiences when she was violated by her very own uncle and another violent rape as a young adult charting out in her new life.

At the age of five years old, Jackee’s dad moved in his younger 13 year brother into his home.  The house was a modest house with three bedrooms and a family of seven.  Jackee’s teenage uncle slept in the living room on a cot. He did not stay there all the time, but when he did, she recalls a dark shadow entering her bedroom and lifting up her dress and fondling her.  As a young child she could not express what was happening to her and would not even open her eyes during the experience.  She recalls crying and the shadow would disappear.   She also has broken memories of being locked in a bedroom with her teenage uncle and remembering white substances on the sheet of the bed which she now knows was semen.

Jackee started complaining to her parents of a ghost that would come touch her from under her bed and so her father started to check in on her to make sure she would be okay. He would come in and make sure she fell asleep.   One fateful night, her uncle entered her room and was caught in the act by her father. Her father severely beat up his brother as Jackee recalls blood on the wall, and kicked him out the house.  Her father protected her by avoiding family members and never putting her in the situation again, however, it was never discussed. She was never asked the details of what happened.  Her own grandmother to this day refuses to believe the story.

Years later, Jackee viewed sex with shame. She recalls her first voluntary sexual experience and learning she was not a virgin. It was a devastating experience because it confirmed to her that at the tender age of five years old, Jackee was in fact raped by her uncle. In the U.S he would still be prosecutable. In Belize I am not sure how a victim can reclaim her power over her perpetrator.  We do not know if he is a child predator today. We do not know what deviancy continues to linger within him. He represents one of maybe hundreds of deviants walking around.  What became of this troubled young man?  He became a respected and published author who places himself in Jackee’s home as a teenager in his book. I perused his Facebook page and saw one picture with a young child in bathing suit. It concerns me when I see such predators in positions of trust around children.

Most children are resilient and many block such traumatic experiences.  Jackie I am sure completely pushed her abuse into the back of her mind.  It is the resiliency and survivorship of the human spirit that allows us to function in the face of very distressing experiences in our lives.  It is this spirit that Jackie carries within her as she is introduced to another type of predator, a predator that is violent, deadly and unforgiving.

Jackee decided to pursue a career in teaching. At the age of 21 years old, Jackee was now living in Corozal and was a popular teacher and enjoying her career.  On October 13, 2000 she met Peter Augustine for the first time. Peter Augustine was a well-known criminal and was only released from prison a week before.

In Jackee’s own words:

“I never knew Peter Augustine before, never even seen him ever. I lived in Corozal and was a very popular high school teacher at Corozal Community.  This was my forth year up there. I had a sweet lil house and prior to this year I had always had roommates.  Anyway, the morning of October 13, 2000, I got up and did some laundry. I got up around 5:30am. By 6:30 I went to the back door to put out the clothes. I had a bucket on the side porch.  I was pinning out one piece at a time and returning to the bucket for every new piece of clothing.  I wasn’t there very long and the back door near where I stood was ajar.

It seems that Peter Augustine hopped over the verandah and went inside when my back was turned.  When I went inside, he approached me. At first, I thought I was imagining him. I could not understand why a stranger was in my house.  I screamed and he placed a knife at my throat. I told him he could take whatever he wanted, just please don’t hurt me.  He didn’t answer me.  He started to pull me towards the bedroom and I understood what his intentions were.  I started to fight him, I bit him. I got cut in my hand as I held on to the knife fighting him. He punched me on my left cheek and I still continued to fight. He choked me by placing his thumbs on my neck. I started to lose consciousness and I eventually saw black and passed out.

When I woke up it was to the sound of my bed sheets being torn. He used it to tie my hands behind my back and blindfold me.  At this time I was having my period and that didn’t stop him.  He got on top of me and was having sex with me.  Even though I was blind folded, I saw a nipple ring on him. I disassociated from what was happening to me. I felt like I was watching him doing this to someone else. I mentally blocked out what was happening to me.  I believed he was in my home for about an hour.  When he was through, he took my jewelry. I thought he was going to kill me.   A student who lived behind my house came to the door and called my name repeatedly.  She saw my bathroom lights on and thought I was in the shower.  I pretended to be passed out so that he would not find it necessary to kill me. I heard the footsteps on the ground, he unlocked my door, which he had to have locked and he left.  When I was sure he was gone, I went to the front door with my hands still tied behind my back.  I had to open the door with my hands tied, I shouted to the student to run and I ran to my neighbor, an old couple in only t-shirts and they called the police.

Peter Augustine was arrested a few minutes after I arrived at the hospital in possession of my jewelry, with the bite mark on his shoulder and my blood all over him. My face was badly beaten and even today it still hurts. My lip has a permanent scar.”

Unfortunately, Jackee’s horrifying experience does not end there.  She relocated to her hometown of Belmopan.  A year later, she had to endure the criminal trial, which was done publicly.  She had to recount her story to a packed courtroom. She was crossed examined by the defendant. She said every time he said her name, she hated him more. She had to recount her entire sexual history in front of curious strangers; she also had to reveal her physical address to the court and defendant.  She was emotionally distraught by the entire ordeal.  She could not bear to stay for the outcome of the trial and later learned he was given 15 years in prison.  He only has three more years left on his 15 year sentence.

Peter Augustine escaped from prison after his incarceration which caused Jackee to fall to pieces because her address was publicly announced in the court case.   Peter Augustine was eventually recaptured in a village near Chetumal.  In that same village a girl was found raped and murdered however, he was never connected to the crime even though he was the only stranger in the village at the time.  There are no denying Jackee lives in fear knowing Peter Augustine will be released in three short years.  She says he gloats to people about raping a teacher and is rumored to have sodomized his cell mate in prison.

Jackee wants other victims to know that there is nothing wrong with them and they will survive.  It took Jackee a while to overcome her abuse and confront it.  She speaks to her students and tries to formulate support groups for rape victims but notes most people want to forget and move on. She sits with numerous rape victims who confide their pain in her.  One girl confided in her that she hated Christmas because she must associate with the men in her family that raped her.  Jackee welcomes anyone who wishes to discuss their personal pain with her.

There are many people who remain uncomfortable with this subject.  Jackee urges parents to speak openly to kids about sex. Teach them good and bad touches. Be a source for your children to run to. However it doesn’t end there. Our system must find a better way to protect the citizens of Belize. There must be a sexual predator website that tracks these predators when they are unleashed back into society.  Victims must be accommodated to tell their story. Their addressese should remain confidential. Our society must remove the shame placed on victims and reassign the shame to the perpetrator.  Our society need to start seriously monitoring men dating children under 18 years of age, even communities who have traditionalized pedophilia.

We must create a safe society for all our citizens especially our children and we must develop a social conscience and be protectors.  How can anyone ever truly claim to be a survivor when the society keeps people in victim status?  Unfortunately I was unable to find a picture of Peter Augustine, but be very uneasy that in three years a violent predator will be released back into society and there is no law stopping it and no picture to show you who he is!

Jackee’s Poems:


He wrote about a time

I had long since buried

Six feet under

My sad horrific memories

His writing exumed

Buried memories

From the depths of hell

Where I thought

They coud never be dug up

But he resurrected

The stomach churning evil

That he did to me

He lifted my skirt

When I was a baby

And spoke adult language

To my innocent mind

In his dirty nasty language

Making his ugly body

Reveal itself

To my horrified eyes

His breath insulted my cheek

His smell chafed my stomach

His touch burnt my skin

How could this man be my kin

He hushed my objections

And covered my frightened eyes

With his huge hands

That covered my entire face

He ripped away

The pure white lace

And tore me to shreds

Now he is that monster

That vile monster

Who I cannot even

Look in the face

And now he dare writes

With enthusiasm and fun

About a time when

He lived in my daddie’s home

As if he does not recall

The ghastly deeds

He has done

I hate him

I have buried him

And I dont want him

Anywhere around me


Unwanted and uninvited

Bang! Bang!

The judge registered

Finality with his gavel

Pounding the end

Of the hearing i had to endure

15 years he got

15 years of free food

A guaranteed bed

He doesnt have to worry

His stomach will be fed

While I, his victim

Am traumatized and haunted

With a lifetime of nightmares

A lifetime of him

Haunting my days and my nights

Coming into my home

Unwanted and uninvited

Icy cold stares

In his strange eyes

Told me his temptations

And as my piercing scream

Eminated in goosebumps

All over my skin

And registered the

Metal blade

He palced at my throbbing throat

I saw my life

In flashes in front of

My scared eyes

Yes, I fought him

I sunk my teeth

In his steel muscles

And with all my fear

I bit in wid all my life

But he retaliated

And I saw stars

And felt the trickle

Of sticky blood ooze

Before darkness crept

Over me and wrapped me

In its tight bondage

Then gone I was

From my conscious self

As he invaded me

Entering unwanted and uninvited

I took back myself

I took back my power

And said he cannot

Have any part of me

That I am unwilling to offer

So as he entered flesh

In and out

My mind shut him out

Though I felt emotional distate

I looked from afar

As he hurt a body

But could not touch a soul


20 thoughts on “Jackee Burns breaks the status quo “silence” by: Aria Lightfoot

  1. Earlier today I was reading some rather upstanding men in Belize talk about how sexual violence on women and girls was a phenomenon based on the arrival of CA immigrants from the 80’s onward. No my dear. We have our own home grown predators from time immemorial. This is far too common and it is time we speak about it like big people and stop hiding it in the name of misplaced pride.

  2. If only we were united, the power of our unity and love for one another could create a better world.

  3. Could you please share your source for that terrifying statistic that one in four women are victims of sexual abuse?

  4. Jackee, there aren’t words to express the horror of what you went through, although your words give others the slightest bit of insight into what you have endured. You are a Victorious Overcomer and a HERO! I have been waiting for the opportunity to come clean with my own abuse as a child and then rape as a young woman. Your courage has inspired me. What can we do to create a predator website? What will it take? I am committed to seeing this happen. How do we do this?

    • Hi Elle,

      The new child protection bill proposes a tracking system for sexual predators. It is important that our children and society are protected from predators.

    • Dear Elle,

      This is the reason I shared my story. I want to allow.others.who have been abused, like I was, to know it is not their fault and that they should not feel badly abt themselves.because some sicko decided they could harm someone else. Be strong sister and may u heal daily as I am.

  5. Wow! Jackee! You’re brave and strong and to be admired for requiring justice. So many of us have left our stories untold. Whatever our reasons, you are a light, shining brightly for a good cause. Your transparency will help so many to receive healing from old wounds and hopefully prevent others from being victimized and silenced. I love you. Compre Class of ’93!

  6. Thanks for the supporting comments. I am content to say I survived these monsters. God plants strength within us to survive our battles. While I am not whole again, I am strong and I feel blessed that I continue to survie each day.

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  10. This is such a heart wrenching story…Vengeance is mine, says the Lord…you’re very strong Jackee…and brave too. My God, I cannot even begin to fathom what you’ve been through and yet you still have the passion and will to live and be a teacher and a stronghold for those hurting and in pain…God bless you and keep you safe!

  11. Centuries of forced christianity has done grave damage
    where its teaching that sex a sin /that children being the
    product of sin that woman in her lust of the flesh having
    brought the downfall of man /that both man woman were
    evicted by God from a place called heaven / unto planet
    Earth where for her sexual sin /woman shall be a slave
    unto man // that her life be that of great agony suffering.

    Christianity was forced upon western nations by brutal
    force /followed by centuries of burning at the stake / in
    by far the majority were women whom dared defy the
    power of the Church Authority // thus an period of fear
    created of individual turning upon individual // thus the
    people so divided // the powers tha be treated them as
    mere sheep to fleece & children as lamb for slaughter.

    Much the similar situation in place today / though it an
    much more powerful mass media / TV Radio Telivision
    newspapers which in 24/7 period be capable of mass
    brainnwashing / in turning nation agin nation / religion
    agin //as exampled presently as over the past decade
    with anti muslim proaganda on a daily basis in building
    up hate malice agaist muslim nations which resulted in
    the invasion of mulim nations // where many hundreds
    of thousands killed man woman child shown no mercy.

    In returning to christianity its introduction into western
    nations / because having the one God rather than the
    many proved very profiable / & put great wealth in the
    hands of a few whom then were able control the many.
    (Before the one God there t’was / many /many Gods).

    How did religious authority gain such power ?. They
    put themseles as Gods direct servants when they…
    spoke it being the word // to dispute their claim was
    fatal / more so if a woman /as it beleived that torure
    was good torture was punishing the devil / the devil
    having taken over the body of those rejecting that
    of christianity as woman blamed for mans eviction
    from heaven then her torture was the most horrific
    her burning at the stake to be killed she welcomed.

    The other reason Church Authority in having great
    power t’was their duty to bless Kings / Queens / as
    Gods choosen to rule over the people thus there a
    situation in Royalty supporting Church Authority &
    Church Authority in supporting Royalty /for people
    a combination that was to control their life over the
    many centuries untill the power of Church Authority
    as the power of Royalty began to crumble / where
    people becoming united / fought for their freedom.

    In gaining freedom was no easy task for centuries
    Church Authority witheld the ability to read & write
    from the people / in fearing with education people
    would challenge Church Authority / with education
    people would question that of religious teachings
    in doing so then both Church Authority & Royalty
    was doomed // as it rightfuly proved to be correct.

    However such next stage in human development
    but proved be a equal match of right agin wrong
    Parliaments were in concept the choosen whom
    the voice of the people / servants of the people
    put in place to uphold the rights of the people’s
    however via decades of political corruption it a
    situation that having reversed itself the people
    having become but servants of their politicians
    politicians whom rather than protect their rights
    politicians but having stripped them of all rights
    thus back to a period of darkness where again
    the people need awake /again raise their voice.

    Though christianity not anywhere having such
    power it once held / even today it still an force
    it has a yearly turnover of $billions in donations
    from those in wishing to book their place in an
    fictional heaven somewhere beyond the clouds.

    Its a simple formula / you wont get into heaven
    because of your sin (however its christianites
    claim their leader born of a virgin) not born of
    sin / being born of a virgin / free of sin/ he has
    the power to remove the sin of others / when
    sin removed hey presto you can enter heaven
    thus believe in christianity /accept their leader
    and your of to heaven. For the none believers
    its bad news not believing you’ll go to a place
    called the USA (just joking) you’ll go to a place
    called HELL where you be cast in a fire ( gas
    mark 8) where you’ll burn suffer for all eternity.

    PS / I should add there be many spiritual souls
    teachers whom born to guide towards spiritual
    enlightenment / Jesus was one / however the
    truth being christianity had little to do with the
    real teachings of JESUS. Throughout history
    of humanity there be spiritual teachers / and
    among all be the “Teacher of Teachers” in
    present times the “Teacher of Teachers” is
    Prem Rawat / Prem to be found by putting
    on PC search put (words of peace) or put
    (words of peace global) on site a selction of
    videos in which Prem explains meditation in
    turning the senses inward in an unfolding of
    the spiritual self / not ideas beliefs or of an
    heaven a paradise beyond the clouds but
    that of very practical spiritual experience in
    answering all questions / in leaving beliefs
    as ideas unto one knowing the creator as
    a equal a partnership that bonded in love.

  12. Wow,reading this sent chills through my body . As if u were writing my untold story . I too was born & raised in Bze. I was 12 & clueless when a young man who is now a Preacher forced me against a tree & tried to have sex with me, he made me bleed . A male cousin of mine lored me there for him. In s small Village ,word reported around fast. When I was 16 I went to Bze City where I was raped & my first child was a product of that. My grandpa & his dad decide we should marry to prevent my embarrasment or his inprisonme . I refused . My son is now a in his 40’s. Those incidents were never reportrted

  13. Stay strong stay close to your God, He is your strenght to endure all ills and you will prevail always, you will be blessed. Jackie, you are Gods child a good person indeed, you have overcome!

  14. You are such a brave person Jackie wow, I know several people who have gone through the dramatic experience of being molested as children, and today have been silent about it, too ashamed to speak up.

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