The chief executive officer of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation is suggesting there is a serious breakdown in the island’s legislative system, as far as domestic violence is concerned.
Speaking during a motorcade and rally organized by the National Organization of Women, NOW, Dr. Leroy McClean noted there was more to it than just fighting to protect women and children against violence.
“A society is judged, not on the basis of how much wealth you have, but on how you take care of and protect you vulnerable. Regardless of what may be the intellectual power of a man or a woman or of a boy or girl, the fact remains that our women and our girls in this society are still too vulnerable to the scourge of violence that we are seeing being committed.
“We cannot sit by idly any longer and allow what has been going on in this country to go on, and I want to call on all of the men who could be my brothers, and all of the men and boys who could be my sons to understand that without women in the society, and without protecting them we put the entire society at risk,” he told people gathered at the first stop of the motorcade, at Super Centre, Warrens.
McClean said one woman injured or killed as a result of domestic violence was one too many, adding that society should not condone an environment in which men who commit such crimes are allowed to walk free.
“We have people who are in prison and cannot get bail for offences much less than that of committing crimes against women. Yet we can hear of men who have killed women or girls and it is not a case where there is circumstantial evidence, it is not a case where you believe that it might have happened and you need to get facts.
“It is a case, in many instances, where the facts are clear, but yet because of a breakdown in our system these men can be walking amongst us. Why should men who have committed heinous crimes against women be given a second chance to do it again,” he said.
Representative of UN Women in the Caribbean Christine Arab, in outlining the importance of the today’s activity, said NOW had a vital message to get to people living in rural areas.
“Across the Caribbean, there are similar actions [domestic violence] happening; in Jamaica, in Trinidad and Tobago and in Guyana and Grenada. This is not something that Barbados suffers alone. This is something that is shared worldwide. It is unacceptable that it is estimated that between 28 and 40 percent of girls’ first sexual experience was forced and, it is utterly unacceptable that one in three women worldwide suffer from violence,” she stressed.
The motorcade started at Baobab Towers and made stops at Super Centre Warrens, Haynesville, Trents Playing, Mount Standfast and Weston in St. James, before ending with a rally at Eddies Car Park, Speightstown, St. Peter.