A mother and her two daughters—aged eight and 13—were seeking lodging and protection in the West Berbice area on Friday after her reputed husband raped the two girls, impregnating the older one.
The man has been taken into custody as police and officers from the Child Care & Protection Agency (CCPA) conduct investigations but the women and girls were still afraid because he had threatened them.
Reports are that the woman who is a stranger to the area met the man three years ago after she came out of the riverain area. He asked her to move with him to a remote area where he works at a cattle ranch.
The woman told this newspaper that from February of this year the girls told her that he was sexually abusing them. Although they were not shy to tell her she could do nothing to help them or stop the abuse.
She confronted him and he questioned if the girls had told her. When told that they had, he responded that he “done do it” and that there was nothing she could do about it.
After that, every time the girls told their mother and she confronted him he would physically abuse them. The woman said she threatened to “tell the boss-man” and he became angry and threatened her to “beat me in front of the boss-man if I complain.”
During last year, the woman had confided in another worker at the ranch that she was being abused and the man overheard her older daughter asking her why she did that. He then beat the woman and the younger girl severely.
The woman said she had planned to leave him then, but he told her he was sorry and that “he forgive me” for telling the other worker.
A few weeks after the girls were molested the 13-year-old started to vomit. She also complained of feeling sick and of a pain in her belly.
The man decided that he would take the girl to the hospital. The doctors gave her medication and sent her home without doing a pregnancy test but the mother suspected that she was pregnant because her physical features started to change.
She continued to feel sick and was taken to the hospital again. It was then that the doctors did the test and found out that the girl was pregnant. They questioned her about who the father was, but she did not answer.
By then the officers from the CCPA were “tipped off” about the abuse.
Subsequently officers from the Schools’ Welfare Department visited the area and informed them that the children needed to be in school.
They also told the mother and stepfather to take them in to the department to speak further on the matter. When they got there the mother explained that the older girl would not be able to attend school because she was pregnant.
The matter was then referred to the CCPA and at that stage the police were called in and the man was arrested.
The three were then accommodated at a hospital on Thursday night but the following day they were waiting with their baggage for the region to provide a place for them.
This newspaper learnt that they had no choice but to return to the hospital although that was not the appropriate place for them.
The region had provided a building for that purpose but it only has beds, mattresses and pots; it lacks other basic facilities and someone to run it.
Observers told the Sunday Stabroek that the “region has a lot of social issues” and that the home is badly needed for vulnerable persons, especially abused women and children.
They are calling on the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security to look into the matter and to have funding provided to run the home.
The woman is hoping to return to her home community, but because it is miles away it would cost her a lot of money and she cannot afford to travel there in a hurry. She is hoping to find a job to earn some money so she can leave.