Police Commisioner’s agenda to end gender based violence was put on pause after several agencies complained that the was being too harsh. At the start of the his term as the Police Commissioner, Chester Williams committed to paying close attention to domestic violence. He had committed to still bring charges to the perpretrators even if the person abused withdrew charges. When Shyne Barrow found himself in a domestic disturbance this past weekend, many questioned the Commissioner’s promise made earlier this year and criticized him harshly for not keeping his word. Well, we now know there is a reason for the Commissioner’s inaction. As for Shyne’s case in particular, Commissioner Williams reiterated that Shyne’s wife made a report for reference and not for charges to be filed.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “The young lady did visit the police station and she made it clear from the onset that she only wanted to make the report for future reference and to be able to assist her to go to family court to seek a protection order. We had said that we were going to charge in every case of domestic violence and it did not sit well with some agencies who have said that the hard and fast policy was depriving many women who are victims of domestic violence from coming forward because they were afraid that if they go to the police even to make a future reference report that their spouse would be arrested. So because of that many of them were not coming so we have since in circumstances where if the person makes it emphatically clear like in the case of Ms.Barrow that they want nothing they only want to go to the family court to see whatever remedy the family court can give them then we go with that.”
Speaking on domestic abuse and the cases of withdrawn reports was Attorney Audrey Matura. Matura says the fight against domestic abuse should start from inside the home and not be remedied in the courts or at the police station.
Audrey Matura, Attorney: “The medico legal form doesn’t lie. He could go and destroy it all he wants the record is there, they could destroy it all they want to it will never change the fact that Ms.Catherine Barrow went to the police ,got a medico legal form,the doctor certified it as harm that will never change the fact. The fact that some people have criticized her to stay is really unjust because you would have to be in an abusive relationship and understand the cycle of abuse to know that it’s not easy to leave especially when you finally get the loving attention you want. Imagine your husband comes and begs you “Please babes I won’t do it again.” and “I love you.” and “Sorry I mi just bex at the moment.” and you’re glad for that and things get sweet for a while you know until the next incident. So we have to put it into perspective. It doesn’t matter what laws we passed against domestic violence and abuse what this country has failed to do is have the social support to teach young men and young women from they’re at the developmental stage which is from zero to seven years how to set boundaries, how to appreciate themselves, how to respect themselves, how to love themselves; you can have that instituted in schools from then to understand. We have not taken the time to develop our people with that mentality. Actually there was a time when I was growing up when they say “If he doesn’t beat me he doesn’t love me.” that is how accepting we had become of abuse and I hope I’m talking here and none of you are abusing your girlfriends or wives okay? But it’s a serious issue. Now they would want it to just slip by, it cannot just slip by and they don’t like that the attention is on them. Maybe it’s unfair but you’re a public figure but the attention on them should also mean that the attention is on every poor woman, child or man who is being abused that nobody is paying attention to. We do not have the support system in this country and it is really awful that when we see people in political power or seeking political power with that attitude because I always say, it has always been my philosophy that if a man cannot respect the woman and the child or children he has and be truthful and accountable and transparent to them I cannot expect then that me John Public, a stranger, you will have any higher regard for me. If the most intimate and closest thing to you you disrespect when you become a political leader I do not expect better from you.”