Imagine a scenario where you, having faced years of abuse from your significant other, bravely foster some courage to fight back, via the legal system.
You take your abuser to court and the Magistrate grants you a restraining order against him. You breathe a sigh of relief thinking, I am finally safe.
But this turned out to be nothing but an illusion.
That is the reality faced by many Guyanese women who managed to get restraining orders against their boyfriends or spouses; some were left seriously maimed; others, ended up being savagely murdered.
In those cases, the restraining order was seen as nothing but a piece of paper, carrying neither weight nor power.
In this Kaieteur News special compilation, we look back at some of the gruesome attacks restraining orders could not stop.
Dhanwantie Ram – Dead
In April of 2017, 29-year-old Dhanwantie Ram, a mother of Parika, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) disclosed to her neighbours that her husband of 12 years had beat her and that she feared for her life. Ram later got a temporary restraining order against her abuser, Ganesh Dhanraj to keep away from her; a measure to ensure the safety of herself and her children.
But just a week later, as she was heading to the Parika Police Station, her husband allegedly dragged her into the couple’s Parika Façade, home and strangled her with a bed-sheet before fleeing.
Rather than face the court, he took the coward’s way out and hanged himself.
Neighbours would later disclose that the restraining order was merely a piece of paper that angered Ram’s husband and did not stop the 30-year-old labourer, described as abusive from taking the woman’s life.
Bhartie Udho – Scarred for life
In December of 2016, 23-year-old Bhartie Udho and her mother, Amika, were severely chopped about their bodies. The attacker was allegedly Udho’s boyfriend, Shamar Mohamed.
Her family had managed to secure a restraining order from the court,
Mohamed, according to officials, is incarcerated awaiting his trial.
Shelly Norton – Scarred for life
Back in October of 2015, Shelly Norton lost her one-year-old grand-daughter, Arian Gill, after her estranged husband, Marc Angoy, violated his restraining order and injured their 14-year-old daughter Ashley Wellington in the process.
Angoy had reportedly made several attempts to shoot Norton after she took out a restraining order against him. When he did not succeed with this, he promised to hurt the “closest thing to her”.
He was remanded to prison after turning himself in to the police with a lawyer and is currently serving a hefty sentence for his crime.
Subrina Lakhan – Dead
Twenty-nine-year-old Subrina Lakhan throat was slit by her cutlass wielding reputed husband, 42-year-old Ramesh Ramdeen, mere hours after she took out a restraining order against him,
He then used that very same weapon to slit his own throat at the couple’s Chesney, New Scheme, Corentyne home in August of 2018.
The couple reportedly shared a relationship marred with abuse and constant accusations of infidelity.
Subrina had just returned home from the Albion Magistrate’s Court after filing a restraining order against Ramdeen.
A neighbour heard her screams and alerted police who turned up at the home to find a bloody scene with both abuser and victim dead.
Omwattie Gill – Dead
The story of 21-year-old Omwattie Gill tells a sad and all too familiar tale of a young mother who faced years of abuse at the hands of her husband, 31-year-old Gavin Gill, before she finally filed a restraining order against him and moved out of their Williamsburg, Corentyne home.
But while walking down the public road in March of 2019, the young woman was allegedly run over by her husband and then hacked to death in the full view of residents and relatives.
Family members disclosed that the two shared a turbulent and toxic relationship although they shared a seven-month-old child together.
The suspect is currently on remand awaiting his trial.
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