Do We Need Signs Like This In Barbados?


Another Sleepless Night Near Grape Hall

The “couple” who everyone knows were at it again a few nights ago. Screaming, yelling, throwing. Kids crying, doors slamming.

2am and the man roars out of the drive with the engine gunning and the woman is in the front of the house long after he left, sobbing away and crying out loud to God but mostly crying out to the neighbours on the street.

Not my business but I would have gone over except another two neighbours went there first. Better the women go anyway because I’m a man and that’s the last thing that woman wants to see right now.

Who is at fault? After a year of this nobody cares anymore. The police have come and gone so many times that they don’t come anymore. The school teacher came one time to visit the children, but we haven’t seen anyone else.

She won’t leave him. He won’t leave. Sometimes the house is peaceful for a few weeks and they look all lovey-dovey and you wonder if you’ve gone crazy and maybe you’ve imagined the whole thing – and then its 2am again on a work night and the whole street is up.

One of my neighbours sent around the photo that appears above. No one knows where it comes from, but the email suggested that we all get together and build the sign right in front of the home.

God knows, everybody has tried everything else – except maybe a few of us taking the “husband” aside for a little chat in the dark of the night sometime, but that is like surrendering to his ways.

There’s going to be a murder some night. Everybody knows it, but nobody can guess if it will be him or her that gets carried off with the sheet over the face.

After everybody has tried everything, sometimes there is just nothing that you can do.


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues

34 responses to “Do We Need Signs Like This In Barbados?

  1. Lady Anon

    Unfortunately, no matter how much you talk to him or her, the behaviour will not change until the individuals themselve decide that enough is enough.

    Perhaps our laws with regard to domestic abuse /a ssault and battery need to go a step further. I believe right now that it is dependant on the victim’s willingness to testify that charges will be pressed. If the victim decides not to press charges, the case will be dropped.

    I believe the time has come that once police officers are called to a scene, that the perpetrator should be led away in handcuffs (male or female) and processed to answer to the charges whether the victim agrees or not.

    Many times, the victim is afraid to press charges because as it has been said “you can’t walk around with the police in your back pocket”.

  2. Yardbroom

    I have had a great deal of experience in these matters, in a professional capacity and they are not as simple to solve as they appear.

    Very often the woman will not make a formal complaint, and even if she does, can be persuaded to change her mind by the man. Sometimes even if she gets to court, she refuses to give evidence and the authorities are back to square one.

    Sometimes it is very difficult to protect people, who have no serious intention to protect themselves.

  3. Georgie Girl

    I wonder if there is anyway to measure the effectiveness of that sign….(has the rate of domestic violence in that neighborhood gone down?) If it is proven to be effective, could we also put up a few other signs: 1-BARBADOS IS NOT A TOILET, MEN; DO NOT PEE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD; 2-UGLY MEN, YOU ARE NOT SEXY; NOBODY WANTS TO SEE THE CRACK OF YOUR A** OR YOUR PUBIC HAIR, SO PLEASE DON’T WEAR YOUR PANTS SO LOW. Now which neighborhoods should we grace with those in?

  4. jinxoo7

    Everywhere Georgie Girl……
    You have given reasons enough for “Gated Communities”.

  5. Brabsoda

    I guess we now see another reason why gated communites are so important to some people.
    Gated communites: A place where you can beat the living daylights out of a woman and the police can’t do anything.

  6. Anonymous

    No. gated communities, where u can escape the hophop jamaicy dub mentality that seeks to infiltrate EVERYwhere.

  7. Anonymous

    do u think decent people LIKE having to create gated communities??? do you think they like your PC flak? your socialist We Are All Equal BS?

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  9. Brabsoda

    Where in all this anger coming from? Do you live in a gated community or do most of your friends live in gated communites?
    Dont’t run and hide from the problems we normal people have to face everyday. Try to solve the problems so that we can all live in a better environment.

  10. Citizen First


    How do we solve the problems so we can all live in a better environment? I am so tired of …

    – the continual noise from the many powerful sound systems operated by my neighbours. The pounding bass often triggers my migraine headaches.

    – the use of the utility post outside my door as a public urinal.

    – the indiscriminate placing of household garbage such that stray dogs can get to the bags, scattering the garbage all over the street.

    – the vulgar, loud and agressive speech used by passers-bye even when addressing friends.

    – the open smoking and selling of marijuana on the street close to my home.

    – the guys on the motorbikes racing up and down the gap, doing “wheelies” even as children play nearby.

    – the fights between neighbours often causing the Police to have to intervene.

    – the stealing of anything left outside the house including potted plants, patio furniture (even if it is decades old), a bicycle etc.

    – the demented perverts and “paros” who live in abandoned buildings who accost females as they walk by and who from time to time will expose themselves .

    – the silly, inconsiderate church groups who hold their outdoor revival meetings at night for long hours with loud music and sermonising.

    – the flying of kites at night with the loud bulls. When these kites fall the string sometimes get entangled in the telephone lines. The string can (and has) sliced throught the insulation which then leads to problems when it rains and water gets in the cut line.

    – the auto mechanic who operates from his home and so causes to road to be blocked with cars and parts of cars in various states of disrepair.

    – the indiscriminate burning of grass and other things.

    – the walking of large dogs (pitbulls, Akitas, rottweillers) through the gap and allowing them to stool and urinate outside your gate, on your car tyres.

    – the gambling under the street light along with the fights when someones loses.

    – the beggars who come to your door with their hard luck stories and then curse you when you refuse to give them anything.

    believe it or not I experience some or all of these things in the course of any given month in my typical district in St. Michael. The so called authorities seem powerless or unwilling to intervene.

  11. Citizen First

    What does it mean to receive the message about moderation of a comment?

    Hi Citizen

    It means that your comment is being held for approval by one of us BFP moderators. The computer filter automatically holds posts that it suspects might be spam (advertising) or profanity etc.. It is an imperfect tool but unfortunately necessary.

    Something in your post triggered it – but we approved it as soon as we came on line. Usually one of us will check in every 2 hours or so. (in theory!) 🙂

    BFP Clive

  12. Yardbroom

    Citizen First

    Are you sure you want to live in a country with so many disadvantages?

  13. jinxoo7

    Citizen First;

    It all boils down ” CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS”.
    Yard Broom:
    Most of us don´t have a choice but to accept “our culture” for what is is (not sure for how long “culture” can continue to be the excuse though).

  14. Brabsoda

    Citizen First,
    You certainly have some issues with our lifestyles as do I but building more gated communities certainly isn’t the answer.
    The only way to fight a wrong is to stand up and make your case, not runaway and hide behind gated communities.
    The law is for everyone and when you see a wrong being committed you do something about it.
    Nobody is above the law, not even those who live behind the gated communities.

  15. Citizen First

    Hello Yardbroom,

    I don’t have much of a choice as to where I live. To be fair, I have been very happy to live in Barbados which has many advantages.

    However, many of the problems I have described have become much more acute and chronic for me since moving to the specific St.Michael district a few years ago.

    Barbados is changing and changing rapidly.

    These kinds of behaviour are becoming more widespread as our culture becomes more coarse and vulgar . At present the vast majority of my neighbours deplore and bemoan these problems but it seems we are at the mercy of a few who have (yes Jinx007) no consideration for others.

    So the question is How does the large majority make the small minority “have consideration for others” ?

  16. liz

    Why are low standards of behaviour and inconsiderate actions called “our culture”..
    Who is the “our”?

    My house is enclosed by a wall and gated.
    Why shouldn’t a group of houses be enclosed by a wall and gated?

  17. Citizen First


    I don’t have “issues”, I am confronted by these problems continually in my working class neighbourhood.

    The “law” is either non-existent or not applied by those responsible for enforcement. The gated communities are of little concern to me.

    Like many other issues highlighted on the BFP, we have operated on the assumption of personal integrity, shared values of honesty and respect for your fellow man etc but what we are realising is that those wishing to do wrong are exploiting the absense of law and/or the determinination to enforce them (re: the ZRs, integrity legislation, etc).

  18. Yardbroom

    Citizen First
    The idea that the behaviour you described is “our culture” I cannot subscribe to. What you have is some individuals who have no consideration for others and dare I say it, that is not specific to Barbados society. In London, New York, Berlin, and some of the other cities and countries I have visited I have experienced bad behaviour. It is true the type of behaviour is different but it concerns residents just the same.

    The way you set about describing your concerns, gave the impression that outside the gated communities, that behaviour was the accepted norm, which I cannot accept to be true.

    It is true Barbados has changed, when I was a boy there were no gated communities, in the way there are today, and people who came to Barbados accepted the Barbadian way of life with all its faults, and there were many. What we have now is a different type of resident, they want a Barbados without Barbados and furthermore they wish to recreate an ideal which they never had, if they had it, they would not have come to Barbados in the first place.

    There are others for what ever reason feel comfort in a gated community, but as has recently been shown in a gated community, there is a “common” aspect in some of us, in a gated community or not.

  19. True Native

    Citizen First:
    I have stated on this blog before, THERE IS NO ONE IN CHARGE! Yes, there are laws, but WHO is going to enforce them? I have to tell you that I used to hear tales from my grandfather of something called a Citizen’s Arrest. I don’t know if the law still exists, but if it does, can you imagine the outcome of an ordinary citizen arresting a wrongdoer in THIS Barbados? You dead one time! You could also report incidents of wrongdoing years ago, because PERSONS WERE IN CHARGE. Nowadays, they’re all scared of each other. The politicians are afraid if they get tough they won’t get votes, and in any case, everyone is either related to the wrongdoer, or they’re drinking buddies. You simply can’t win. We need to bring in Mr. T and his “A” Team!

  20. Citizen First

    I am part of that polity called Barbados. The actions of each of one of us affect all of us. We are all our brother’s keeper.

    I do agree with your sentiment that we should not accept negative behaviour as a norm but you know there is a problem when your children manifest some of the same negative behaviours in spite of explicit instruction by you not to do so!

  21. Citizen First


    Let us get something out of the way. I have little concern for the gated community. I do not live in one, have never lived in one and given the costs not likely to ever live in one. I am also sure that obnoxious behaviour is not limited to Barbados. My submission is that there is an increasingly urgent need to address the many community problems faced by good, decent, ordinary folks living in Barbados.

    On the matter of the gated community, what we have is a developer building a collection of homes with associated ammenities to attract buyers. The buyers have thus paid a lot of money for the tennis courts, the swimming pool, the jogging track etc . Do you expect that they are going to throw open these facilities to the public free of charge! Do you invite the public to walk into your house and watch your television, relax in your yard, pick your limes or whatever? You exercise control over what goes on in your gated community of one.

    However, I do wish to enjoy my humble home in Barbados, in peace and mutual respect with my neighbours. To a very large extent I have achieved this but there are those (including myself) who out of ignorance or thoughtlessness but rarely malice will do things that are less than appropriate. 99.99% of the time a gentle word is all that it takes to rectify the situation but what I do notice is a certain type of individual who accepts no boundaries (except the threat of violence) on his/her behaviour.

    Tell me I am wrong that the popular expressions in music, art, film, literature and political commentary often promote a coarsening of the common culture and a “do it if it feels good” mentality. Much of this is aided and abetted by easily available technology (for example very powerful sound systems which are relatively inexpensive).

    Laws and law enforcement are presently inadequate to deal with the belligerent, obnoxious individuals (some of whom are well schooled and enjoy high income) who insist on their right to carry on as they please regardless of the nuisance created.

  22. Yardbroom

    Citizen First
    I invite you to read your 1st submission

    and your last.

    I am sure you will find in the latter a difference of tone and an acceptance that the majority of the citizens of Barbados are not like those of your first submission, “our culture” does not sanction bad behaviour.

    I honestly hope your children will not be adversely affected by what goes on outside your home, generally home environment has a more permanent effect.

  23. Crusty

    Citizen First and Yardbroom are having an interesting and
    enlightening debate. My two cents worth is to suggest that
    the pervasive and invasive presence of foreign culture on the tv
    needs to be countered by individual awareness and understanding
    of its negative aspects.
    Each of us chooses and absorbs parts of it. It is clear that countries
    and peoples have different cultures which change slowly, but they do change.

    My questions are:

    How do we, as a people, provide positive influence to counter
    the evident negatives in imported culture?

    Does a willingness to accept personal responsibility for our actions
    and their consequences have anything to do with it?

    How does one convince others this is the right way to think and act?

    Does this apply to raising our own children?

  24. Old Timer

    True Native you hit the nail on the head about no one in charge. It look like none of the others here seem to understand that.

  25. Citizen First


    In my first post I was responding explicitly to Brabsoda’s charge that we “Try to solve the problems so that we can all live in a better environment. ” I can see why you might infer that I was promoting life inside the gated community as free of unpleasant activity but I was highlighting the scale and nature of the many problems we face in the wider community and in particular what I observe and face continually. I want to add that unless we respond to the challenge, problems are going to get worst and more widespread (vis a vis the recent problem with the activity of the entertainment village at Deighton Griffith School, or the concerns of residents in Regency Park over the proposed football stadium, Graham Hall and the proposed water park). If there is one problem with the gated communities is that they seem to be “sacred cows” to which planners, police and other officials make quick response while lethargy characterises the way authorities deal with rest of us. Case in point, reports to the public health department about say a neighbour’s discarded refridgerator which has water collected in it, providing a breeding ground for mosquitos seems to be ignored. Neighbour says she is renting the house and the “fridge ain’t nothing to do with me”.

    In my third post I wrote ” At present the vast majority of my neighbours deplore and bemoan these problems but it seems we are at the mercy of a few who have (yes Jinx007) no consideration for others.” The issue is a lack of laws and enforcement systems but more importantly a lack of civic leadership on the issues related to community life.

    In my fourth post I wrote “The “law” is either non-existent or not applied by those responsible for enforcement. The gated communities are of little concern to me.” – Maybe some think that the gated community is an answer (possibly a short term one) but they will still have to come out sometime!

    Ultimately, in my fifth post I expressed my role as “I am part of that polity called Barbados. The actions of each of one of us affect all of us. We are all our brother’s keeper.”

    Yes, the home influence will prevail but it can be out of sync with the wider public culture. Teachers and parents are noticing an increased meaness in the way some children treat other children because of perceived differences. Is this real or imagined?

    Crusty has provided a succint list of pertinent questions, the answers to which I don’t have.

  26. jinxoo7

    Old Timer,

    I think the majority of people ARE aware that “no one is in charge ” which is why we find ourselves on this forum even discussing it. I never thought in a million years i would hear the term”ZR ” or “Bashment” culture in Barbados but here we are nevertheless !
    Is this really our “the new world order”?

  27. Yardbroom

    Old Timer there are people in charge, but there is no one exercising authority.

    I think the question posed by Crusty is very relevant. We believe that all things foreign are better than ours, something just has to be from across the water and that gives it legitimacy. As a result we are now discovering to our cost that is not the case.

    As a young boy if someone had mentioned drugs to me I would have thought they wanted me to go to the drug store, I knew nothing else.

    If I dared misbehave to strangers my mother’s sentence ” do you want to bring disgrace on this family” was enough to make me quake in my boots. That concern of how ones behaviour would impact on society and the family, was the societal glue that kept us properly bonded. It also ensured respect for others and their property, one behaved because it was the proper thing to do.

    Have we moved on? in material things we have but in others no, for example as a young person you should not pass an adult from your neighbourhood without greeting them with good morning or good evening, this is no more and we as a society are the poorer for it.

    Citizen First

    I will only make a small point regarding gated communities. Barbados is a small island with limited land available for housing. When a gated community with a few dozen people occupy a large area and the place is supposedly developed, which it is not, the average Barbadian naturally feels aggrieved and he has a right to.

    Land ownership gives you a stake in your country, it gives you a sense of belonging, for yourself and your children, those outside the gates will not move on anywhere, as the whim takes them.

    Our record as Barbadians should not only be, that our feet touched the ground here, as a people we owe it to our children to leave a more permanent mark than that for them.

  28. Maat

    Yow Crusty,

    You asked some good questions;

    “My questions are:

    How do we, as a people, provide positive influence to counter
    the evident negatives in imported culture?

    Does a willingness to accept personal responsibility for our actions
    and their consequences have anything to do with it?

    How does one convince others this is the right way to think and act?

    Does this apply to raising our own children?”

    Your last question is the answer to the first question. It is the parents responsibility (all adults) to adopt a mature attitude and the principle of enough. Television viewing can be controlled, the books and literature in the homes and schools can be controlled, access to lyrics in music can be edited and controlled by parents. If the problem is the radio and children having access to cell phones and other gadgets that allow them to listen to explicit of inciting lyrics DON’T BUY THE CHILDREN THESE ITEMS. Generations have been born raised and contributed meaningfully without the inventions of the last 100 years. Progress is a doubled edged sword that sees parents absconding their duties through the need to meet financial commitments that are not necessary. Adults need to grow up, spiritually and learn to define the difference between need and desire.


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  30. eunisa

    ohh my goodness thi is really bad this better stop now.

  31. obob

    I think they should have sign like that after reading this story.

  32. J

    A community becomes a good place to live when neighbours look out for each other and especially when they look out for each other’s children.

    Do YOU look our for your neighbours?

    Do YOU look out for your neigbour’s children?

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