Echoes of Delayed Responses: A Case for Human Rights in Barbados

Submitted by TK Butler-Intimate Partner Violence Survivor 
Human Rights Advocate 
Author & Activist @ Focus Barbados| Protect the Children

JUSTICE DELAYED is justice denied. Barbados is becoming notorious for pushing matters under the rug for years, backlogged court cases, people remanded to jail and cases that don’t get called before the court until several years later, witnesses to cases being asked to remember evidence from 10 years ago, and people walking around the same streets as perpetrators while awaiting their day in court.

In my case, Barbados failed to respond to a petition I submitted in June 2015 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by the deadline. This failure triggered  the advancement of my petition to a formal case as stated in a letter mailed from the Commission to Jerome Walcott and myself on November 23, 2020: 

The State in question did not submit a response to the petition during the admissibility phase. Therefore, the Commission has decided to open the case…

The details of my case against the government of Barbados as well as the specific abuses I’ve suffered are shared within my blog posts on WordPress @ Focus Barbados (est. 2015) and Instagram @quarantineipv (est. March 2020). I used Facebook as a platform for raising awareness back in 2012-2014. I was also interviewed by Naked Departure on her blog talk radio in 2014. I have been more than vocal.

I lived in the communities of Barbados as a tourist. My abusive relationship with Barbados began in 2012, lasted for 3 years which has lapsed into a total of 7 years and counting. After leaving Barbados in 2015, I began researching and educated myself about the plight of Bajan women and children in Barbados. It is through understanding their struggle that I became aware of the connection we all have to trauma, crime, justice and the delayed responses by relevant authorities in each of those areas. We are all survivors of systemic governmental neglect and abuse. These abusive relationships formed the basis of my view that there is a lack of empathy in Barbados that is cultural. The people hold dear their customary “respect and manners” but because of deep seated anger issues, this hospitality and politeness does not ease the rage of Bajan hostility. Through my conversations with Bajans, experiences of culture and observations of governmental leadership, I am as clear as ever that Sir Hilary Beckles assessments of Barbados as the First Black Slave Society, including all the barbaric and traumatic implications, is one of many contributing factors that plays a significant role in my struggle for freedom from gender based violence in Barbados.

I’ve learned that when I was being strangled and my abuser asked me: “ARE YOU GONNA SHUT UP? YES OR NO?”, he was echoing the sentiments and voices of a majority of the population. I, THE TOURIST, although supposedly “superior” in status due to my relationship to the tourism industry/economy, ended up being treated as many local women are treated every day. I was not given the world renowned  “ROYAL TREATMENT” as a tourist. Instead, I experienced a major contributor to the normalization of abuse for Bajan women and children: THE CULTURE OF SILENCE. My research provided further evidence that emotional and verbal abuse in Barbados is rationalized as commonplace. The same hurt people who hurt people are working as teachers, lawyers, police, judges, and government officials.

According to Cynthia Forde:

There is no community that is not a part of the nonsense that has been going on.  And the molesters are not just the ordinary men in the village, but we have police officers taking advantage, and according to what we know, there are teachers, priests, counsellors and caregivers who are taking advantage of young children…all people who know better, and because they have not been caught, they get away with it.

Loop News Barbados

How can the cycle of abuse be broken when those who are supposed to help victims are also people who can’t be trusted? Who was gonna raise awareness if it’s normal to have your voice choked out of you? Who was gonna be an example that speaking out can bring healing where there’s no justice or closure? Who was gonna expose the wounds in order to justify the need for healing? Who was gonna ask someone out there somewhere if they dared care to listen to our screams for help? I asked others if they were willing. Everyone feared retaliation by employers and government. The rumours that Bajans are docile and content with suffering in silence became all the more real. No more delays. No more denials.

My case with the Commission is strong and justice will prevail. I would like acknowledgment from the government that my and OUR suffering is not in vain. The government must pledge itself to fix the broken systems, including those within the Child Care Board and Juvenile Justice circles, that enable the cycles of generational abuse and trauma that create abusive men and women. This must be done for the sake and well being of children. Every living adult in Barbados is called to task.

In this year’s throne speech, Dame Sandra Mason stated: “Barbados is now increasingly finding itself on international lists, including within the multilateral system, which identify us as having a poor human rights record.”

Need I say more?

In conclusion the lyrics of an old gospel spiritual by Mahalia Jackson will suffice:

If I can help somebody, as I travel along
If I can help somebody, with a word or song
If I can help somebody, from doing wrong
No, my living shall not be in vain No, my living shall not be in vain
No, my living shall not be in vain
If I can help somebody, as I’m singing the song
You know, my living shall not be in vain.

168 thoughts on “Echoes of Delayed Responses: A Case for Human Rights in Barbados

  1. For those who say that we are “crabs in a barrell” please not that it is Christmas time and I have hired black men, some companies and some sole traders to reair the washing machine, do the yard work, service the windows including repairing the screens, and to provide lamb and pork for the Christmas dinner table.

    I am highly satisfied with the work of ALL of these black men and their employees.

    We are NOT crabs in a barrel.

    Will by later this year or by the beginning of 2021 do business with a black physician and a black dentist. Did business with a black female dentist just after or shutdown. A smart, competent, compassionate, black woman.

    The pastor is a young, very handsome black man too, If i am going to hear the word of God I am happy to hear it from a black man. And if he is young and handsome, so much the better.


  2. I remember when the only dentist that I knew was an old English guy. It is hard to find a white dentist or doctor in Barbados these days.

  3. @ William Skinner December 22, 2020 8:40 AM ” tell the men to respect our women and try their best to look after their children.”

    Peace and respect and all that William, but perhaps you should pass the message on to your friend Hal Austin.

    Hasn’t he recently implied that black Bajan women are unworthy of marriage?

    Yet we all know that the best place to raise children is in a loving stable marriage. So if black men ought not to marry black women, how then will black women have access to loving stable marriages in which to raise black children?

    Help me out here please as I am only a simpleton.

  4. @David December 22, 2020 8:06 AM ” How do we dissolve an irrelevant mindset which goes a long way to add to the problem of parental delinquency and pervasive negative attitudes.”

    it is biological. All over the world men prefer to have sex with young women, sometimes women 10, 15, 20 or more years younger than they are.

    Yet when a man of 40 decides to have children with a woman of 20, the 20 year old woman is often emotionally little more that a child, still getting to know herself, still getting to know her older and much more experienced partner, still getting to understand what being an adult, responsible partner involves, still trying to understand the BRUTAL HARD WORK that is mothering. Yup! Mothering int no cake walk. Mothering is not a Sunday school party.

    Biologically young women are more likely to produce physically healthy offspring, but are less competent to be able to raise those offspring well.

    i was born when my mother was 37, two older siblings were born when she was 20 years nine months and 23 years and 6 months. My mother was a SIGNIFICANTLY better mother to the children born in her 30’s and 40’s that she was able to be to those 2 children born in her early 20’s.

    But men prefer younger women because biology drives them to do so.

    Me? I was glad that I first became a mother at 29 years and 3 months; and then again at 40 years and 10 months.

    I enjoyed my teen years, I enjoyed my early to late 20’s, I studied, I worked, I partied, I traveled a LOT. I spent MY MONEY ON MYSELF. I have no regrets. I would not have wanted to be a mother in my teens or early 20’s. I would very likely have been extremely resentful if motherhood had been imposed on me then, especially if it had been imposed by a 40 year old man who had already had his fun, his studying, his travel, his partying etc.

    So I would say to couples, try to find someone about your age, perhaps no more than 5 years between you, for example a 27 year old woman with a man aged no more than about 32.

    You asked David so I answered. This is my truth and I am sticking to it.

    • @Simple Simon

      Interesting comment. A point you will be challenged is that maturity is not always measured by the age factor. Also some societies lend mothers more support therefore the younger age type mother is negated somewhat. The takeaway is that as a society we have to tailor solutions to address the shortcomings in order to minimize fallout.

  5. Oh dear me, William Skinner!

    With you it is one step forward and two steps back. Here’s my opinion. It is David’s blog. You gave your ideas about how the blog could be improved ON MANY occasions. It has been discussed. Your opinion is not David’s opinion.

    If you are so convinced that there is a better way then do it yourself!

    There comes a time when one should give up trying to sway a person who has made up his mind.

    Respect the man’s choice!

    Regarding the Brady Bunch cultural penetration to which you refer – of course we woman have historically raised well-adjusted children on our own. But did you ask the women if they would have preferred a supportive man around? Did you ask the children? I am yet to know a child who felt good being ignored, rejected or abandonned by his father. And all the women in my sphere do appreciate a supportive father to lean on when raising their children.

    Were you not there for yours? Do not think they would have missed out if you had not been?

    Good men have plenty to offer within the family. No experience is totally fulfilling without them.

    Cuhdear Bajan,

    I feel David should ban you from this blog. You are too happy on this 2×3 rock. This is a blog for all things and persons miserable.

    Anyone who accepts that the struggles of life are an inevitable part of life and can yet find a way to enjoy it is limited in intellect and needs to be educated.

    But I missed your positivity these past few days. And your stories of how your family overcame the conditions that most black people of those times faced in Barbados. We have come a long way! We now have water toilets to jobby in! The government promises to eradicate the few pit toilets that remain.


    P.S. Regarding Dead Dick (lol) may be that it is not dead but too small to see. I only see pictures but I hear most white ones are length and breadth challenged. Just having some fun. Can’t whine all day!

    P.P.S. The men should keep their penises in their pants….unless they are prepared to deal with the fruits of their labouring loins. In some cases, there needs to be wuk after the wuk up.

  6. Donna:

    Busy, busy, busy.
    Washing and rehanging curtains, cleaning windows, spending too much time on ladders, house cleaning, fine touches to yard work, grocery shopping, digging sweet potatoes, lol!!! [yesterday 2 x 5 gallon buckets, and 1 x 2 gallon bucket [sorry David i know that the agriculture thingy should go in Carmeta’s Corner] cake and ham baking, washing an “old” Christmas dress because I am surely not buying a new one this year, and 6 to 9 hours per week of agricultural work has taken 10 or 12 pounds off me so the “old’ red dress still fits perfectly if you see a woman in RED in Queen’s Park, I am she. .

    Little Susie is home for Christmas. Still in quarantine. Hope to see her by Christmas.

    Life sweet.

    I am today healthy and happy.

  7. I forgot.

    I hired a black man lumber too. He is a sole trader, but likely the best plumber in Barbados. He don’t come cheap. Did repairs for me at two different properties. I happily paid him $850 BDS.

    I forgot to add that the washing machine repairman came with a young black male apprentice. They worked their “magic” and were in and out of my home in less that 1/2 hour. Competent, quick, courteous, The 10+ year old machine is working like new. Materials and labor $235 BDS. While here the main man spoke very highly about another black businessman [several employees] who has recently retired from his business which is now in the hands of his competent son and DAUGHTER, because he has been sensible enough to get the children in the business early.

    Good black men working.

    Good black women working too.

    Not at all enslaved legallynor mentally.

  8. “He was even advised to ban me once by some superbly intelligent defender of the wonderful BLP.”

    the political slaves will always be around…just keep ya distance and if you see them before thy see you…RUN…they’re toxic, dangerous and trying to mentally enslave you into the trap they got caught in, misery loves company.

  9. @ Donna
    You missed both points. I was asked by WURA to suggest something to David , I merely gave an explanation why I would not. Nothing there to debate
    2. I merely said that our women have raised black boys to be successful and confident men. I then suggested that the brothers emulate the “ real” men who take responsibility and parenting seriously.
    Not once did I suggest that men were and are not needed.

  10. May not bother to bake a great cake. May buy one from Nicholls, as I did last year. Mr. Nicholls is a black man, not so?

    As I’ve done for many, many decades, I will buy my groceries and cleaning supplies from Mr. Bynoe’s supermarket, at Carlton or Six Roads. Those are black businesses, not so? I’ve certainly know Mrs. B since she was a little girl.. She was a smart black girl then, she must be a smart black woman now.

    We are not crabs in a barrel, I am happy to do business with all of these businesses. Glad for their success.

    • @ Cuhdear Bajan. do you think to expertly repair a washer and fix a sink cures one of mental slavery? Maybe all those women working at the hotels, restaurants and duty free shops should have done a few courses in such disciplines at the polytechnic Come to think of it many more should have stopped of there before moving on to their present vocation. So, look here, you’re implying that a 40 year old man fooping and breeding a 20 year old girl is ” Balkining” her, my grandmother term for messing her up.What you pissy old hard back women have been enjoying for eons is that the male can’t get pregnant from fooping older women. If you pool all the the men on BU you’ll see how many of us ring dicky in old women before we knew what that slime from our dicks was all about. I for one fooped more old bajan women when i was a boy than now I’m an old man. Every Rass hole time you and that other one come about the degenerate bajan men,Once more, look her, in 1995 the Nation news carried a front page head line, ” More bajan mothers are having sex with their son.” I was down her vacationing, around the time Percy Sledge had a concert here, you remember now? You want to talk about bad behaved men, for a mother to open her legs and let her son ring some dicky in her Crutch, oh lord, that’s bad behave pun top uh bad behave. But of course I don’t believe that article, the Nation news was telling lies pun wunnah. And if it was true, only mothers from Nelson and suttle streets, not mothers from the Heights and terraces. No wonder most of you mothers can’t say shit to your sons, I’m reminded of the many times I have been to a house and the sons were treating me like some Horner man. Previously a mother could give her son a look letting him know he ain’t no man in here, not now boh. Finally, why are you old women so caught up with an old man fooping younger women? I havent been able to get a middle age, attractive woman since I was in my 40s you old Cougars want all the young boys; the dumber stupider and their pants falling off their asses. PS, can I still come over for Xmas?

  11. Cuhdear Bajan,

    My great cake is being baked by my hairdresser down the road and her daughter, who will also do my nails. Same one who did my conkies. Her husband is partner in a deep sea fishing boat. Mortgage paid off long ago. They are black and also my relatives. My Rasta cousin is painting, cleaning up my furniture and helping me in the garden and yard. I have been told that he is a great ital cook. I have been telling him that he could switch to that when he is unable to do the heavy work. His family owns a large plot of land that he works. Got evuhting pon dat land down the road.

    The lawn guys went by. The business owner is black. He also has a nice bar and offers Bajan foods on weekends. He does plumbing and various other handyman jobs. Also grows some of his own food. He is black .

    My cousin down the hill and her friend are both sold out of eggs. Pork gone too. Chicken too. But she still got two keeping for me. Also makes pudding and souse on Saturdays. Big house, no mortgage. Hard working black woman.

    I have already shopped at Emerald City supermarket. Last week I shopped at Cherish.

    Nuff money spent with black people. Industrious black people.

    We can achieve. Together we can take it to the next level. No Bajan Indian stands in our way.

    • Cougars prefer Corporate young men, Look her schmuck, are you implying that according to that News paper article in the Nation news1995, ” More bajan mothers are having sex/fooping their sons'” these mothers only foop their sons who were “Corporate young men?” My observation today is that you old rats only foop broke ass younsters,,,other words, you buy cock from desperate boys.

  12. “I only see pictures but I hear most white ones are length and breadth challenged. ”

    😀I have come to the conclusion that is why they rule the world. Even little me wanna be a king somewhere😀

  13. The reason why Cougars prefer corporate young men is because they are more fun
    Self supporting and not cold and reserved and dominating
    You old foggies are up tight and dominating and seek and want to take the control about everything
    Some of wunna belive that if wunna buy something of great expense wunna now become lord and master of the female domain
    Worst yet wunna key cant even turn the lock

  14. @whiteHill December 22, 2020 7:10 PM “Every Rass hole time you and that other one come about the degenerate bajan men.”

    Oh dear! Either you misinterpret me or you are deliberately being malicious.

    I said that all over the world men prefer to have sex with young women. I did not say that this behavior was degenerate.

    Sex with a consenting adult partner is NOT degenerate.

    What i did say is that women a bit older tend to make better mothers. And that the same woman tends to be better able to mother at children in her mid-thirties, that she in her late teens or early 20’s and I reference my own mother.

    Be honest now, would you prefer to have been born to your mother when she was 16 or when she was 32?

  15. Dear Whitehill:

    I agree with you. I think that everybody on BU would also agree with you that incest is ALWAYS wrong.

    And “no” you cannot come over for Christmas, not after cussin’ me so, when all I said is that women in their late 20’s to mid 30’s tend to be better able to mother to children. I believe that research bears our that teenagers, male or female are not very good at parenting.

    Heck some of them are not even good washing their own dishes.

  16. @whiteHill December 22, 2020 7:10 PM ” I for one fooped more old bajan women when i was a boy than now I’m an old man”

    I am sorry to hear that your parents failed to supervise you properly when you were just a boy, and permitted you to be raped multiple times by various women.

    That is truly sad.

    Were your parents teenagers at the time of your birth?

  17. @whiteHill December 22, 2020 7:10 PM “Maybe all those women working at the hotels, restaurants and duty free shops should have done a few courses in such disciplines at the polytechnic.”


    I believe that many more men and women should acquire a trade, learn a skill. I believe that skilled trades people in Barbados earn significantly more that waiters/waitresses and shop assistants. Traditionally both here and abroad skilled trades people have been able to provide a decent living for their children.

    My comment was all about parents being able to property care for their children. Emotionally, financially, physically, financially. It was NOT an attack on Bajan men, or on any men.

    • Maybe you indeed wanted to speak to parents properly caring for their children; our grandmothers and mothers did, we must now take up the mantle, however in doing so it must not appear to be an attack on men. You have on several occasions engaged in a broadside on men.supposedly when attempting to make a positive comment. One is left feeling that you were stood up at the Altar one Saturday. For the record, I know there are countless disgusting men out there, some I would personalty love to take into the woods and shoot. But you women have to be more clever and astute with whom you foop and breed for. It breaks my heart every time I see many little girls not getting the love and support from some dunce of a father, this is made worse when further investigations show that lots of women knew the father was a dead beat before the first foop. Maybe you and others can make this an issue where it can be heard and seen, I have two Aunts in their 80s, one in particular with whom I can engage in certain conversations knows what time of day. PS, I think i’ll eat at one of my Aunts after all this xmas, I don’t cuss when around her, she lets me have only one alcoholic drink when I take her out; very concerned about my well being, I’m a Saint as far as she’s concerned.

  18. I believe this whitehill person has been damaged by some woman or women in a terrible way. Imagine reading what I posted and coming to the conclusion that I believe only men are degenerate.

    I specifically spoke to Kammie Holder who somehow forgot that negligence by fathers is as abusive as physical or verbal abuse by mothers. So nowhere did I opine that women are never abusive.

    As I said before, both women and men need to get their acts together.

    Either whitehill has literacy challenges or some woman or women definitely messed him up and he never worked through it.

    P.S. My son, when he was a toddler, slapped the priest for giving me the customary hug at the church door, threw a stone at me (and hit me on the lens of my dark glasses) for allowing a male friend to bear hug me at my grandmother’s funeral and told me he did not want me anymore, always tells me he will throw out any man who comes to my house. And up to this year he was planning his future move from home and when I said I would find an “old man” to keep me company, he decided he would never be moving.

    However, he would be totally cool if the man was his father.

    So…. possessiveness does not mean that a woman is sexually abusing her son.

    I certainly didn’t abuse mine and I can guarantee you that no other woman has abused him in that way.

    I am sorry you have not been so fortunate.

  19. My post was all about doing the best for our children. And I think that we are ALL agreed that we MUST do the best by our children. It was not intended to be a comment about man-woman relationships.

    Whitehill glad that you have a an excellent relationship with your elderly aunts. I had excellent relationships with my elders too, excellent personal relationships generally.

    You have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

    And remember…

    Just one drink.


  20. @ Donna, as for you, let me tell you this, I will always stand up for men just as you and others do for women. I know that in recent times all women seem to enjoy cart blanche when you set out to denigrate men where most men take the shit in silence, not me in rassh hole. I will not attempt to disabused you of your notion that I was hurt or suffer some egregious act by a woman, I did not experienced much racism while living abroad, yet I felt I was the second coming of the brother Malcolm. Wasn’t I supposed to lend to the struggle of my black brothers and sisters as I do now for those men now who seem to be afraid to speak up when women launch their broad side on us? You can go kiss my ass, your implications will not stop me from tearing into yours or any other fool who want to believe that all men are like these SHE SHE BULLING boys you women produced since 1980,

  21. Wow.
    It is “triggering” (as usual) reading comment sections where Bajans are discussing serious matters. Per usual, the focus always finds a way to flow in every direction instead of toward JUSTICE AND HUMAN COMPASSION.

  22. Smh. Let me repeat: YUP, I WAS IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH BARBADOS by way of an abusive boyfriend. Through that experience I PARTICIPATED in and WITNESSED how neighbors, bystanders, witnesses, police, the US Embassy, the courts and the PEOPLE treat each other INHUMANELY….and illegally.

  23. And yup, Barbados government leaders wanted to keep up with appearances and sign on to human rights treaties that they nor the country can live up to! And HELL YEAH, my human rights were violated. And nope, you cannot make me cower, regret or recant.

  24. I have all the proof I need. I AM SELF EDUCATED on the SYSTEMIC ABUSE going on, don’t need no degrees to REPORT to the public what I experienced over the course of 3 years in Bim and 7 in total…..AND STILL COUNTING! Which again, its normal in Little England for justice to be DELAYED and denied.

  25. Never tried to “SAVE MY ABUSIVE MAN”. I wanted and want JUSTICE and thats how long Bajans take to acknowledge and address issues. My experience is one example out of many, …too many. The reports of police and judicial negligence and intimidation are legion.

    Review how backlogged court cases are in Barbados. Review how purposely INTIMIDATING and CORRUPT the processes and systems are in Barbados. Review the way Bajans diss eachother and participate in stigmatization practices when people try to speak out about CHILD ABUSE and VIOLENCE against women. Review the normalization of cussing and fussing and the emotional damage many don’t even know accompanies the word play. Makes it even more nonsensical and cruel to call it “CULTURE” and therefore acceptable.


    The numbing and dumbing down every which way you go.

    The avoidance and dissocation.

    The gaslighting.

    The rationalizations.

    The deflections.


    …and the echoes of delayed responses.

    Barbados, focus!!!!! Barbados, you SIGNED THE TREATY, so you are the focus. I am FOCUSED. I will not be intimidated by the REGUGITATING ROBOTIC types who repeat the PROGRAMMED RESPONSE: Bad things happen everywhere. Why focus on Barbados?

    Its a damn shame the cruelty and selfishness of so many Bajans who can’t see how their refusal to discuss Barbados issues (regardless of what’s going on anywhere else) stifles, marginalizes, degrades and disempowers people who need help. Needed social changes never stand a chance at being realized if Bajans dont stop to LOOK WITHIN. Duh!!!!!

    • @Focus Barbados

      You will find that people tend to shape their opinions based a view via narrow lens.

  27. Your HIRED leaders didn’t care enough to PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN according to the obligations they signed on to, and so now here I am, a tourist crying out for justice. And yet, majority of Bajans will prefer if I just shut up already.

    A Bajan once tried that, and if anyone is to blame for how LOUD I lived to become, it’s him. Ask HIM why he STAYED with a woman he felt the need to abuse. Ask him why he MADE EXCUSES for himself.

    And yup, ASK HIS PARENTS.

    Which will lead us to talking about the CHILD ABUSE that contributes to cycles of violence in adulthood. Please find time to sign the petition to expose the need to MANDATE CHILD ABUSE REPORTING! Link in my bio @quarantineipv Instagram.

    Barbados, FIRST BLACK SLAVE SOCIETY, author of THE BARBADOS SLAVE CODE, influencer of all things colonial, importer of African people into America, the land of human experiments in TERROR… please, nothing you can say suprises me anymore. Same ole same.

  28. Pingback: Echoes of Delayed Responses: A Case for Human Rights in Barbados – Focus Barbados | Protect The Children

  29. … And that’s sad that Bajan attitudes and behaviors are so TEXTBOOK. 🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️….(Quote)

    Very perceptive. Predictable behaviour from the top to the bottom. I call it the Bajan Condition. We will change when we accept who we really are.

  30. Pingback: Echoes of Delayed Responses: A Case for Human Rights in Barbados – Reports About Human Rights Around The World

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