Nov 23, 2008 News
When most people hear the term domestic violence, they usually associate it with physical violence against a spouse. But there is the other side of domestic violence.
Guyana has had it fair share of suicides and attempted suicides and in most cases the victims are women. But within recent times, the phenomenon has moved to include more men trying to escape from their responsibilities as well as escape the torment of infidelity on the part of their spouses.
Two cases at the Georgetown Public Hospital within the past week bring home the point.
On November 18 last, Ronald Ramnauth, 42, ingested two carbide tablets reportedly because he could not face the insult resulting from his reputed wife having an affair.
Kaieteur News understands that following a heated argument at his Lot Six, Area B Cummings Lodge home, Ramnauth sent his wife downstairs and proceeded to ingest the poisonous tablets. He was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he subsequently died.
And on the same day Jeremy Jemmott, 23, took a toxic dose of gramoxone following a problem with his girlfriend.
A leading social worker who did not wish to be named said that while persons commit suicide to escape their suffering, others do so to inflict suffering.
“Some of these men see suicide as the easy way out. I don’t know the exact circumstances of these matters but from what I am gathering both men appeared to want to inflict pain on their spouses,” said the official.
He said that while the Welfare Department of the Ministry of Human Services is doing everything it could, there is very little that the staff could do to prevent suicide.
He pointed to the need for more social workers in the high risk communities where poverty leads to circumstances like suicides.
There are cases where men would also commit suicide to escape the law after inflicting grievous bodily harm on a spouse or in cases where they have killed them.
The police have had to place several prisoners under suicide watch and in the absence of social workers to work with these inmates, the task of the police becomes more difficult.
“We try to pass them through the courts as quickly as possible so that they can be remanded to prison where the possibility of encountering social workers is greater,” said a police officer.
The social worker said that the welfare department will be adopting strategies to deal with what could turn out to be an increase of male suicides.
“After all, the family, including the children, will suffer,” the social worker said.
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