The murder of a deaf man last weekend has rocked the local disabled community.
New President of the Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD) and former President of the Senate of Barbados Kerry-Ann Ifill, told Barbados TODAY that it was difficult to explain the extent to which deaf persons have been affected by the murder of 43-year-old Rupert Patrick Stoute who was stabbed and beaten to death at the entrance of the Fairchild Street bus terminal while protecting a disabled woman.
“Persons with disabilities have for a long time been victims of varying crime, but to the best of my knowledge, there has been none so horrific, and horrific in the sense that it is a slaying of a deaf person, and from all reports, it was related to his deafness,” Ifill said.
The council president said that this was the second time for the year the disabled community has been touched by violence. She recalled that in March, a number of persons with disabilities were at Sheraton Mall, Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church, when a man was fatally shot.
“It leads us to recognise what we have been saying all along: persons with disabilities are equal members of the society. Violence does not discriminate against us. We can be victims of violence like any other member of the society. And it is worst when it comes to the deaf community with all the language barriers and all the other concerns. The recent increase in crimes is of great concern to us,” she said.
“We want to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of Mr Stoute, to his friends, and to the deaf community itself because we recognize how vulnerable everyone feels at this time,” Ifill added.