Women dying in their own homes, homes were once the grand pictures painted in their girlish dreams, by those who once said that they cherish. After the dying, there may still be inconsolable cherishing: in silence, in reflection and remorse of promised protectors transformed into actual killers; the long lingering goodbye of what was a too short, too torturous twisting that our young girls and grown women endure from what started out so beautifully, so promisingly.
As this paper reported, recently, more than half the women murdered this year were killed by their partners. If they are not safe from their partners, then who? That is this year alone. How many more are suffering, waiting, and wondering if they, too, will face that same fate (being murdered by their partner), probably in their own home?
This is the harrowing picture of what many–too many–of our women exist within this country with their partners, as the statistics tell so piercingly. But that is only part of the story. For there are those women-mothers, fellow strivers, self-sacrificing–who still believe and trust, and thus they hold on for the whiffs of air amid the horrors of lifelong nightmares.
They cling to belief–found somewhere, lived somehow, unfathomable sometimes-as one woman was reported to have demonstrated recently. The charge of attempted murder had to be dropped against her loved one. She is only one public example. There must be many others, who never went to the trouble of going so far as police and court, as public with what is personal and special.
For some, the bond is still sacred, the unbreakable nature of those ties that bind. Or paralyse with fear.
How do they live? Waiting for those familiar sounds of commanding, frightening presence? Of sharp, furious glare? Of the all-too-ready upraised voice and hand, the all too familiar flash of pain? The confining, confrontational nature of a castle that shattered flesh, teeth, bone, and who knows what else, but which remains unsaid, unreported, unaddressed?
This is not a way for snake or dog to live. Yet this is the way, as confirmed, time and again, as to the dehumanising existences of many of terrified women in this society.
The sanctuary of the hearth converted into a torture chamber; the fingers that caressed now caressing dagger and danger and inflict endless cruelties, which seem to possess a certain inevitability about them. We recoil from them; we distance from them; we refuse to speak of them.
From victim to perpetrator to community to church to state to state agents, there is happening and then there is moving on to the next incident, the next murder, the next fallen. These are the ones that become known through the media, when a certain stage has occurred.
There are the others–the familiar neighborhood sufferers, the still unidentified but numerous in just about every place-whose ordeal (inflicted or experienced) never make it beyond the circle of resigned knowledgeable. And when they do, it is in the worst way possible, and then it is too late. Gone!
What to do, when victims ignore any supplication, resist any intervention, reject any sanction, other than the rain of blows?
The year still has a full quarter to go; that is a long ninety-two days to go. Somewhere in this Guyana, another woman’s life is going to go. The wish of this publication is that it is not so. But the odds of such a saving occurring may not be part of the flow.
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