An outspoken men’s rights advocate has soundly condemned what he describes as the failure of policymakers and the judiciary to hear and act upon the cries of “good, non-threatening fathers”.
In fact, Kammie Holder, spokesperson for Barbados Fathers 4 Justice is concerned that authorities’ failure to address a disparity between the treatment of mothers and fathers before the law courts could result in damning consequences for families.
In an over 20-minute social media post following the death of 42-year-old Cornelius Barrow and his two young children in a fire at their Warrens Park South home, Holder revealed he became deeply saddened upon hearing the deceased father was in the midst of a brutal custody battle with his wife.
“A day does not pass by when some mother, father, brother, uncle or girlfriend does not tell me about how they are feeling hard done by the judiciary, the Child Care Board and the police force and I can speak to my own experience of a system that treats all men as either dogs, criminals or suspects and women as above reproach and totally perfect.
“There are men in this country who are having malicious protection orders taken out against them just to ensure they do not have a normal relationship with their children. [There are] men who cannot go to a school to inquire about the wellbeing of their children because the mother deliberately left the father’s name off the registration form,” cried Holder.
Police on Wednesday evening indicated they were aware of a post circulating on social media, allegedly written by the deceased father, extensively outlining his displeasure with the local judiciary in its handling of the ongoing custody battle and that he was through with Barbados and its legal system.
Holder declared he had spoken to numerous prominent figures, including parliamentarians, magistrates and judges on the treatment of men in such circumstances, but fears his pleas have been falling on deaf ears.
He added that while many fathers walk away from the unfair treatment meted out by the law, not everyone would walk away peacefully.
“I said fathers are hurting and I said that I hoped we would not have to wait until blood was flowing in the streets because fathers have nowhere to turn or anyone to talk to.
“We deserve to do better in this country for the sake of our children. I am tired of complaining. We have got to do better. It cannot be in the best interest of our children to have children being denied access to a mother or father.
Calling on the Attorney General, he said: “Dale Marshall, you have a social responsibility…listen to the cries of the men and good, non threatening fathers. Do the right thing in this country.”