The September Third Foundation, along with the two main gender-focused bodies in the island today spoke out against the violence that saw a woman lose her life two days ago.
Commenting that they wanted to institutionalise the commemoration of September 3 every year as a day against violence, Chairman of the September Third Foundation, David Comissiong, called for more attention to be paid to violence and violent crime, particularly against women.
“We want to institutionalise it [September 3] as a day on which the entire nation of Barbados is called together to pay attention to this issue of violence, violent crime and in particular, violence against our women.
“If the tragic deaths of six of our young beautiful daughters of our nation is not enough to wake up the Barbadian people and cause us to pay attention to this issue, then nothing else will. So we are determined to make full use of this issue to draw national attention [to] violence and in particular violence against women,” he said in reference to the Campus Trendz tragedy.
While he stated that the Foundation was very pleased that in the three or four months after last year’s commemoration, it seemed to them that there was a marked diminution in the incidence of violent crime in Barbados, he noted, “But of course it did not last”.
“We are back this year commemorating this event in the throes of very much violent crime. In fact, only on Monday this week we had the terrible news of Caroline Forde being bludgeoned and stabbed to death by a man at the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex. Just in May this year, we had the tragic case of Brenda Belle being stabbed to death by a man.
“As a society we continue to be inflicted by this plague of men killing women. This brings home to us that it is doubly important for this country to commemorate the Campus Trendz tragedy. We must use September 3 to say to the nation this is a very important issue that we need to focus on and to do something about. Three years after September 3 we are very concerned that nothing has changed for shop assistants in many of the small stores and shops of Tudor Street, Swan Street in Bridgetown, and no doubt Speightstown, Holetown, Oistins and all over Barbados,” Comissiong said.
He lamented the fact that three years after six young women died in the Campus Trendz tragedy, young women were still going to work under conditions that remained the same, with no fire escape or proper protocols with relation to complaints of domestic abuse.
He recalled that the public was assured by the police after the death of Brenda Belle in May that they had taken the incident seriously and they were putting a protocol in place. Comissiong noted that the public has just learned that Forde was attacked repeatedly by the man who ultimately killed her and that she was attacked a couple days before her eventual death. (NC)