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The nation failed Shamar, says AG


Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, has said that the apparent suicide of 12-year-old Shamar Weekes, in St Lucy, last week reflects a failure of Barbados’ society.

Addressing the start of a march from Independence Square yesterday, aimed at placing a focus on children rights and their protection, Brathwaite told the gathering of persons which included a number of the island’s religious groups that they needed to look out for each other and help in raising the nation’s children.

“In 2015 we in Barbados should lead the way. We should tell all of Barbados, tell all of our children that they are free to be children…free to dance, to sing, come and go and know that they can do so with peace and security,” he said.


Hundreds of Barbadians took part in yesterday’s march.

Organised by Reverend Ann Hamilton-Cutting, the march was under the theme, Breaking the Silence on Child Abuse’.

Reflecting on the St Lucy tragedy Brathwaite said: “I was particularly saddened because we heard of a young man who possibly took his life, and I thought, even not knowing the family, it is as if we’ve all failed.

“When something like that happens I think what could we have done. Even if we didn’t know the young man, what could we have done to support the family, the mother. We need to look at our neighbours. It goes beyond the children. See what you can do to help each other,” the Attorney General lamented.

“The simple message about love your neighbour as yourself, if we live it. And that’s what we all need to do, live that very basic tenet.”


15 Responses to The nation failed Shamar, says AG

  1. Donna Harewood May 17, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    So what are we going to do about it? I’m working in my little corner but this thing calls for a major and united response. The stories I hear are heart-wrenching! And they are becoming more and more common. We will never eradicate problems but we can minimize them. Let’s get serious and hit this beast from all angles with full force.

  2. dave May 17, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I find that some people can be very cruel towards children and they treat the little ones really really badly. Teachers at school; Parents at home and others who abuse and mistreat children.This mistreatment seems endemic , however, and not limited to the ill treatment of adults and can be seen in the way Bosses in the Public service treat Public servants , for example; the way Private sectors bosses treat their staff too; the way the Government is treating the people in the country at large and the way people in general treat others.

    I am especially perturbed about how children are treated. I have seen mothers dragging little ones on Broad Street and cursing at them in the vilest terms and poor little children just bawling and crying. We think that children can bear these things and will forget but continuous ill treatment has its consequences seen in the lack of self confidence , fear and aggression displayed by some youngsters. I remember as a child being told some of those worst things you can think about. I never forgot them but I was strong as an individual and never had problems with self confidence or self esteem and I believe that that inner strength came from the Father but all persons are not that strong. We need to do much better than this however.

  3. Bobo May 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    When push comes to shove –from Errol Barrow to A- Braithwaite , ”why” the Black child in the Caribbean ”Human Rights ” are not implemented and enforced.

  4. nadean alleyne May 17, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    They say we survive, but how? Do we live?

  5. Anthony Davis May 18, 2015 at 3:29 am

    On page 3 of Barbados TODAY, dated 15 May, 2015, under the heading “Heartbroken” it states: “Valarie Husbands, based on what she witnessed while the family rented her Ellis Rd., Checker Hall, St. Lucy apartment, was led to appeal to Shamar’s mother ‘let me keep the little boy.” I told Julianne to let me keep the little boy for her and she got mad with me, and people told her not to give me the boy . . . and the little boy tell me ‘Valarie take me.” That request was made four years ago when Shamar was a student of the Half Moon Fort primary school.”

    The mother was offered help which Shamar wanted to take but his mother refused to let him stay with the lady, so the AG should not start apportioning blame when help was offered.

    What was the lady to do?

  6. Anthony Davis May 18, 2015 at 3:34 am

    I would like to know what is going on here! This is the second time I have made a comment, and was told that it is a duplicate when it is the first time I made such a statement. The only time I made either of these statements was on Facebook.

  7. Ralph Talma May 18, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I feel incredibly sad for young, departed, Master Weekes and send my condolence to his family. It seems to me that in the past 10 years, a multitude of young children have suddenly appeared in B`dos with their mothers’, but without their fathers’ or any financial support therefrom. It takes two to tango. So how do we expect a single parent in the current financial climate to bring up a child without some support? I thought such times were behind us, especially with family planning and contraception now readily available to all. It seems I was wrong, and that thought horrifies me. I worry for the future.

  8. Kevin May 18, 2015 at 10:18 am

    As I said in a previous post, in this country there is a fine line between abuse/neglect and discipline. And there needs to be greater discussion about it. And it will take a whole lot for Bajans in general to act and call the authorities.

  9. Maxine Hutchinson May 18, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I know of a situation in which I was informed about a child who wandered to one of my friends’ home to play with her little boy (then). He had wandered (as usual) because of the treatment that was meted out to him at home when he wanted more food.

    The night was being far spent. We summoned the Police who arrived and took us to the station to await his father who had promised to take him into his care. After approximately three hours of waiting and no sign of the father, a call was made to one of the senior Officers of the Child Care Board. As soon as the Police mentioned the name of the boy the Officer stated loudly: ” Uh Uh, not in none of them homes boh”. Leaving the boy in the care of the Police, I left the station.

    Do I need to say more?

  10. Shakimjale May 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    It amazes me how things have to happen drastically (in this case death) before we as a people take action.

  11. Patrick Blackman May 18, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    It is not a failure of the society it is a failure in parenting that all. Whether the parents are held liable or not, it is still a failure in parenting.

  12. nanci May 18, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    the child care board should have been notified of the plight of this kid, and investigate why the mother keep on beating him, and he crying out because he was hungry. As one blogger noted, barbados society is very mean, you go to the library or any public office and the workers are rude, and dont even want to say hello, and this beating of kids by the parents and teachers. Parents can beat their kids but the abuse should not go that far.Barbados got a long way to go, I believe it comes from mothers not having the fathers of the kids around, and they take out the frustration on the kids. The mother had the chance to let the child live somewhere where he could be taken care of, but she didnt want to let the child go out of her sight, she just wanted him to stay at the house, and ill treat him, he didnt hang himself for no reason, there had to be a reason. Most fathers don’t even help out with the kids either, they just go off with some other woman, and dont even care about the kids, black society today is just horrible. I only hope that there is an agency where kids can go and get help if abuse is at the home, the child care board dont always help, open up an agency where homeless or abused kids can go for help.

  13. nanci May 18, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    its called corporal punishment, I see mothers beating their kids down town and its ok by barbados society, I saw a woman beating her son with a belt in the bus stand and people just walking by like nothing happening, its only the tourist was horrified by what was going on. I pray that little shamar’s death will bring about some change, barbados needs to wake up and have some sympathy for each other, there is too much mean bad people, I think its because of poor educating, and the high cost of living, or how they themselves were raised. I would ve adopt that little boy, he seem like a really nice kid, or send him money or something, but there should be an agency where if someone see abuse , contact the agency and get the mother to stop , or even the father or both.

  14. Peaches May 18, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Abuse isnt only done at home..nowadays its happening at school as well…just 3 weeks ago i went to a primary school in the north to make a complaint for a teacher and when i went to the principal it didnt make any sense cause he behaved worst than the teacher. I took it to the suppose to be higher authorites ( minister of education officer for tht particular school) and Nothing was done….. I was told by a officer : the teacher had no right telling the class the negitive stuff he did and the principal probably had a bad day….WTH!!! Now i thought these people suppose to be professional….

  15. Joan Watson May 19, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    The parent should be held responsible for the death of that child..the police should be questioning the parent to see what was really going on in that household before any other children in her care are neglected and might be thinking any negitive thoughts. I hope that the children welfare board and the police look into this horrible unfortunate death of that little boy…he must have suffered very bad..may he rest in peace.


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