In your newspaper and another I read recent pieces about violence against women. In the letter to you, the writer mentions several reasons for women remaining in abusive relationships and suggests steps that can be taken to ease the situation.
However, the fear factor among the victims seemed to have been overlooked.
Guyana’s population is relatively small. Abused women are probably keenly aware of the ‘run-but-can’t-hide’ aspect and are afraid that the men involved would soon find and harm them. Perhaps neighbours and others are reluctant to get involved for the same reason.
As a child, I overheard, with horror, one neighbour telling another that years before, when she attempted to walk away from an unwanted relationship, her jealous partner lured her to a lonely spot one night, produced a knife and a vial of liquid and told her that the knife was for her and the liquid for him!
At the time of telling she was still with him, perhaps living a life of tension and fear.
In the 1950s, something along those lines happened to the friend of a friend. The chap involved, although married, still wanted to continue a relationship with the young woman. He would turn up at her workplace and cause a disturbance, unless she agreed to speak to him out front. To avoid ‘trouble’, she would cooperate.
One day he walked with a knife and stabbed her to death, then immediately swallowed poison.
Such incidents were rare in those days and the young woman’s employers and colleagues were devastated – she was a popular and lovable person.
Perhaps Guyana really is in ‘destruction mode’ – maybe the daily stress of trying to survive is largely to blame. Yet, on my recent visit, I was pleasantly surprised to find people generally cheerful and helpful, seemingly resigned to the way of life (our grandparents used to say ‘You have to cut and contrive’).
On my walkabouts, I ‘acquired’ enough self-styled nephews and grandsons to enable me to form my own rainbow cricket or football team – and then some!
Let us all hope an answer is found soon to the abusive relationships problem.
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