Stop the attacks!
BWU cries foul on violent behaviour
The island’s most powerful trade union has come out strongly against violent attacks on women.
Twenty-four hours after a 36-year-old woman was brutally assaulted in a cutlass attack by the father of her two children at Haggatt Hall, St Michael, the executive council of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) has described as disturbing “the apparent tendency by some young Barbadians to engage in violent criminal acts”.
“The BWU said young people in Barbados seemed to have copied some of the ‘foul’ behaviour from the developing world, and some of our Caribbean neighbours, such as drive-by shootings.”
But what pains the BWU more, is the inclination of some of young men to commit violent and deadly crimes against their partners, in the process using weapons, such as knives, cutlasses and guns, the union said in a statement today.
“We often wonder what could drive a man to use a cutlass, knife or gun on his partner?” the BWU added.
It warned that such violent acts not only created lasting physical pain and suffering for the victims, but also etched ugly scars on the psyche of the children, the family and the entire nation.
“While it may be true that every country from time immemorial may have suffered a season of violence, we don’t think that Barbados and the Caribbean, which traditionally have prided ourselves as a zone of peace and as a paradise which woos visitors, would wish to have our reputation sullied by the acts of a few violent and unthinking persons.” The union also blamed the mass media for influencing the behaviour of the youth in this country. It said television and cinema especially featured movies which were replete with unbridled violence.
In some cases, the union said “the media seemingly have taken over the role of parenting of some of our children from an early age and have been feeding them daily doses of negative behaviour”.
The workers’ body said it did not think a change in behaviour would come about merely by “the wail” of public protests.
“We believe that fundamental change will only come about if the family, as the primary social institution, seeks to instill into our young men, values such as tolerance, peace, love and respect for the human beings, as God intended it to be.”
The BWU also suggested that parents, with support from the other social institutions, have to continually “drill” into the minds of the children, that women cannot and must not be brutalized “at the whim and fancy of men”. It said the time for positive action was now.