Calling for a year free of deaths related to domestic violence, Ralph Boyce, chairman of the Men’s Education Support
Association (MESA), is encouraging men and women in Barbados to choose their partners carefully.
He told Barbados TODAY that while in many cases, domestic violence stemmed from “very bad” relationships,
he was aware of women who were getting involved with men who have criminal records and had the potential
to abuse them.
“We have to focus on improved relationships, which starts with how people select one another for partners. I
have heard about persons who have actually been sent back from the United States or wherever because of criminal
activities, and then there are some women who are head over heels about them.
“I understand some women prefer men who have had criminal records, which is serious, because although they say
they could protect them, he is going to also beat you up as well,” he explained.
The deaths of six women last year have been blamed on domestic violence. Boyce indicated that in an effort not to
have a repeat of this sad situation, MESA like local women’s organizations, was committed to finding the root causes of
all types of domestic abuse and was currently preparing to release soon a statement on the matter.
Boyce also alluded to the fact that he continued to receive complaints from tearful men who had been abused by
their spouses daily.
In the meantime, the chairman stressed it was necessary that people took precaution as they selected partners
because “the main cause of some of the violence that we are getting” had to do with the type of person chosen.
“If you select a man who is known to be a criminal and known to be violent . . . you need to see the danger signs
early. If the man is going to beat you before you settle down, it is likely that will get worse. Don’t feel that you are
going to alter him when you go up to the altar.
“People have to be careful what they are doing and try to cultivate positive attitudes and positive relationships.”
Commenting on the spike of domestic violence last year, Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith suggested
that there was a link between the increased number of abuse cases and non-nationals. He said one of the things the
police had noticed about the murders as a result of domestic disputes was a cultural factor. (AH)