One of the country’s most vocal campaigners for women’s rights is appealing to the male population here to curb their urge to harm partners whom the suspect of cheating.
In an intensely moving reaction to Saturday’s stabbing death of 36-year-old professional nail technical Onica King of Lead Vale, Christ Church, Public Relations Officer of the National Organization of Women (NOW) Marsha Hinds said it was high time men learned to “control their emotions and responses to disappointment and rejection”.
King, the mother of two children, ages six and three, was stabbed multiple times in her shop at No 41 Mandela Plaza, Swan Street, The City in the presence of the children, and left to die.
Police have since issued a wanted bulletin for her husband, 47-year-old David Dacosta King, also of Lead Vale, Christ Church.
While Hinds did not suggest that cheating was at the core of the dispute that led to the young mother’s death, she was emphatic that men had to understand that “horning does not make people die”.
“I am tired of this discussion about horning. Horning does not make people die, what makes people die is when individuals can’t control their emotions and responses to disappointment and rejection,” she said while admitting that other factors could have contributed to the butchery inflicted on King.
“There are some men who are depressed and suffering from mental conditions that aren’t diagnosed and that will put them at a higher likelihood to perpetrate,” she said.
The NOW spokesperson also urged Barbadian women to be careful about the men with whom they get into relationships, and to avoid the temptation to try to “fix” their partners.
“We need to educate women about the types of men that they simply should not engage with because of their behaviours to recent challenges. We have a lot of women in Barbados who feel that they can fix men. Psychologists and psychiatrists fix men, not women.
“Coming out of this last experience I think what I am recognizing is that until we get out there and start to educate women to just not put themselves in these positions at all, and until we as a society question ourselves about what it is we are telling men that reinforce to them that women should die for their life choices we are going to find ourselves in this position very often,’’ Hinds stressed.
It was late last month that 31-year-old police constable Shane Welch was stabbed to death outside his Kingsland, Christ Church home in an apparent love triangle that turned deadly.
Aaplon Ismael Parris, of Taitt Road, Britton’s Hill, St Michael, the 26-year-old husband of a female police officer believed to have been having an affair with Welch, has been charged with the constable’s murder.
Parris also pleaded guilty to malicious communication, and was jailed for three months, for filming and distributing via social media, an unsavoury video of his wife.
Hinds said incidents such as these told the story of widespread domestic violence in Barbados, which the Domestic Violence (Protection Orders) (Amendment) Act 2016, was meant to curb.
The Act gives police the right to enter premises without warrants and issue emergency protection orders to safeguard victims of domestic abuse. Lawmen are also required to respond to every single domestic violence complaint they receive.
Despite the legislation, Hinds said, more needed to be done, adding that it was unfortunate that cases of domestic violence were often only addressed when there was a fatality.
“The level of domestic violence in Barbados has been high for a long time and a lot of it is unreported until somebody dies.
“For a number of years women advocates have been signalling that we have deep problems with domestic violence. I think people expected us to shut up and go away because we got the Domestic Violence Act passed, but a lot of us were trying to tell the state that this is not a problem that you can legislate away. We have gotten legislation but what we have not gotten is the culture change,” she said.
In this context the NOW spokesperson hit out at the island’s social care system, describing it as a “sham”.
“Our social services system in Barbados is a sham. There are a lot of agencies in this country that are not working and giving an effective service to individuals who are the most at risk. It leaves people then to try to negotiate the situation themselves. It is because our social services are a sham that people are dying in the country; not only the behaviour of men but also our response and how inadequate it has been as a society, and it will get worse,” she said.
King was the tenth person murdered here so far this year.
In their “wanted” bulletin, police said David Dacosta King was slim, about five feet, eight inches tall, dark complexion, and has brown eyes.
Anyone with information about King’s whereabouts is being asked to contact detectives at the Bridgetown Division at telephone number 430-7189, police emergency at 211; Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 or the nearest police station.
Lawmen also reminded the public that it is a serious offence to harbour or assist a wanted person. [email protected]