Magazine article Herizons

Laws Lead Men to Kill Women in Trinidad

Magazine article Herizons

Laws Lead Men to Kill Women in Trinidad

Article excerpt

LAWS LEAD MEN TO KILL WOMEN IN TRINIDAD.

Some male professionals in Trinidad sparked a storm of controversy when they asserted that legislation to protect victims of domestic violence actually provoked violence within families.

The furious debate was sparked when Shirley Wilson, a 54-year-old music teacher, was chopped to death by her 64-year-old husband on the same day a High Court marshall and police officers accompanied her to present him with an injunction authorizing her to remove household items.

Gerald Wilson slammed shut a heavy iron gate that left the police officers standing outside. When the officers heard her screams, they tried to break down the gate. When that failed, they used a sledge hammer to break the wall. By the time they got inside, Wilson was dead.

Psychiatrist Harri Maharaj reacted to the event by saying that women were abusing provisions under the Domestic Violence Act by obtaining restraining orders against their husbands to "force what they want." He said fathers, who were supposed to be the protector in a family, became the persecutor and victim under the Act. These men then feel shame and jealousy, which lead to depression, frustration and aggression, he said. He noted that the act was superimposed on Trinidad and Tobago without concern for the "intra-psychic development of individuals who may be affected by the legislation or for their socio-cultural circumstances, and without reference to psychiatrists."

"It's causing problems for me," Maharaj said.

In the Trinidadian House of Representatives, Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday, made a similar leap of logic when he linked a spate of fatal family disputes to the enactment of the bill. He said the psyche of a Trinidadian male was such that he would "lose his cool" when forbidden to enter a house which he may have built and in which his wife and children live and in which other men may be welcome. …

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