By: Joel Vogt
For many years, women in Guyana have been victims of domestic violence, resulting in their violent deaths at the hands of their abusive partners.
However, it seems women are standing up to escape abuse and defend themselves.
Reports indicate that in the last five months, five men were stabbed to death by their female partners in domestic disputes. In all the cases, the suspects had suffered years of abuse.
Against this backdrop, Women and Gender Equality Commissioner Nicole Cole believes that Guyana could be witnessing the emergence of a new phenomenon of women fighting back against their abusers.
“This thing continues to mushroom up, and now this is the new phenomenon. Five men, and this is just March,” Cole posited.
Cole reiterated that it is unacceptable that this scourge of domestic violence continues unabated. She fears other abused women may see these occurrences as an excuse to kill their abusers and claim self defence.
“My fear is that there will be more men, because women are going to look at what other women would have done, and we know that there are some who are brave enough to say, ‘you know what, I’m not going to take this.”
The Women and Gender Equality Commissioner lamented that the outcomes of these violent situations often result in the children being placed into the custody of the State, Orphanages, or with relatives.
“Not good for the children. This is where the children are left as wards of the State if a family member doesn’t step in to care for them. The State will now have to care for those children, placing them in orphanages while the mother will have to go to prison,’’ the Commissioner added.
40-year-old Michael Wilson of Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara (ECD), was on October 10, 2022, fatally stabbed by his 30-year-old girlfriend during a domestic dispute, while on January 1 this year, a Berbice man was also stabbed to death by his girlfriend.
26-year-old Leroy Dey was killed by his wife on January 10 at his Breda Street Georgetown home.
The trend continued on February 19 when 27-year-old Anthony Shivlall was fatally stabbed during an argument with his wife at Essequibo.
23-year-old Esan Hamilton of Fourth Street, Albouystown, was the latest to be stabbed to death allegedly at the hands of his girlfriend on March 18.
The woman had allegedly suffered abuse for a long time and had an active restraining order against the man.