Soroptimist International of Barbados Takes issue with Reputed Comments from Magistrate Douglas Frederick

Soroptimist International Barbados views with grave concern recent statements attributed to Magistrate Douglas Frederick.

In court reports which appeared in the media on January 11th it was suggested that Magistrate Frederick advised a young woman appearing before him as an alleged offender that she should read the story of the boy who cried wolf.

This was after the young woman, the defendant in a case involving her former partner, noted that she had previously dropped a case in which she alleged that she had been shot by her former partner, now the complainant in the case involving her.

Victims of domestic abuse suffer not only physical abuse but also psychological abuse at the hands of their abuser. The statement attributed to Magistrate Frederick indicates a clear lack of understanding of the dynamics of the relationship involving survivors of domestic abuse and their abusers and the subsequent behaviours of these victims.

The Magistrate’s reported comments trivialises the issue of domestic abuse and its effect on the survivors.

If, as the young woman charged, officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force have ignored her subsequent cries for help, this also betrays a lack of understanding of the issue of domestic abuse. The country needs to promote a society where a woman’s cry for help is not ignored and trivialised.

There continues to be a need for greater awareness and education of the signs and psychological effects of domestic violence abuse on a victim.

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