According to statistics obtained from the Ministry of Social Protection, the highest number of women in domestic violence related killings met their demise as a result of being stabbed to death by their husband or former lover in the last two years.
The statistics revealed that 15 women died as a result of being stabbed or receiving a stab wound. Following that with another high figure, accounting for 12 killings in total, were women, who were beaten, received blunt traumas to the head or head injuries.
In total, 38 women were killed by their husbands, reputed husband, an estranged lover or boyfriend, from 2017 to present. These women are of different ages, from different racial backgrounds and upbringing and from different parts of the country.
The Ministry recorded 14 killings in 2017, while 2018 and 2019 thus far have reported 20 and eight respectively.
These killings, some very gruesome, have left families shaken and communities in shock.
On August 12, 2017, residents of Cumberland Village, East Canje Berbice, were awoken to the shocking news of the murder of their fellow villager and popular businesswoman, Rhonda Blair.
The 42-year-old retired teacher and mother of two, was stabbed to death by her 47-year-old husband, Rudolph Blair, called ‘Rudy’, who, after committing the act, ran to the back of a neighbour’s yard and shot himself. He was said to have also ingested a poisonous substance after fatally stabbing his wife.
The couple, who owned a string of Stretch ‘D’ Dollar stores, lived at Lot 91 Coburg Street, Cumberland, East Canje. According to information, Rudolph Blair, in a fit of rage and frustration, stabbed his wife multiple times about her body.
In April the following year, a 23-year-old housewife and mother of two, Darmattie Persaud, called Kalvina, of Belmonte, Mahaica, was brutally murdered by her reputed husband in front of her children, aged seven and five.
The suspect, whose name was given as “Bishwani,” reportedly became enraged after the woman ran away from his abusive behaviour several weeks before the incident.
After committing the act, he ingested a poisonous substance and rushed back in his house. The police however arrived promptly, removed him from the building, and took him to the hospital where he succumbed several hours later.
Kaieteur News learnt that the dead woman and the man entered a common law relation some eight years ago and that union bore two children. However, the woman had been enduring abuse at the hands of the man since then.
Family members on both sides were aware of this, and even the police, who were called in from time to time.
Her relatives had always encouraged her to move on with her life and she attempted on several occasions, but the man would always return to say he was sorry. The woman took him back in every instance, except in the most recent case.
Later on in that very year, on October 14, while armed with a kitchen knife, a mentally unstable deportee chased his girlfriend down a street, before dumping her in a trench and stabbing her to death.
Itashia Idana Frank, 38, collapsed and died from stab wounds to the neck. Police arrested the alleged killer, Durn Hunt, called ‘Rastaman,’ at the scene as he tried to drag the body out of the trench. They also retrieved the murder weapon.
The brutal killing occurred shortly after Itashia Frank and her boyfriend, who has been in a relationship for just three weeks, had a heated argument at the suspect’s lot 108 Crane Street, Queenstown residence.
Eyewitness said that after killing his lover, ‘Rastaman’ dropped the knife in the ditch and sat on the parapet staring at her body. He then reportedly wiped the mud away from her face and kissed her face.
It all started on March 30, when Corentyne, Berbice resident, 20-year-old Omwattie Gill, was run over by her husband, Gavin Gill, who later hacked her to death in full view of villagers.
Gavin, 31, was later arrested by police as he stood near his wife’s lifeless body holding the bloodied cutlass. He is before the courts.
Domestic violence has become very prevalent in Guyana. The issue continues to raise its head every now and then and while men are also on the receiving end, it is the women who usually end up dead or before the courts seeking justice for abuse.
If you or anyone you know is being abused, kindly reach out to Help and Shelter, Homestretch Avenue Georgetown or call 225-4731; the Ministry of Social Protection, Water Street, Georgetown or call 225-6545; Caribbean Voice by calling 621-6111 or emailing [email protected]; Red Thread at 173 Charlotte Street, Georgetown or call 227-7010; the nearest police station or health centre or faith based organisations.
If you just feel like talking to someone, you can also call the 24/7 Suicide Prevention Hotline on toll free numbers 223-0001, 223-0009 and 623-4444. The toll free numbers 600-4444 and 623-4444 are also active WhatsApp numbers that persons who are in need of counselling can access.
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