Years of being at the receiving end of domestic violence came to a tragic end on Saturday night for a 45-year-old woman who was stabbed to death in front of her three children at Bladen Hall, East Coast Demerara (ECD).
Police have since detained the woman’s reputed husband and another woman as investigations into the murder continues.
Kamal Doonwah, a domestic worker of Bladen Hall Squatting Area, ECD was repeatedly stabbed in her chest by the attacker, who fled after her children began crying out. A bloody knife with the handle wrapped in cloth was recovered by the police at the home.
According to reports, just around midnight on Saturday, the husband, who was said to be under the influence of alcohol, went home and finding the bedroom-door closed jumped over the wall. He reportedly woke Doonwah and allegedly stabbed her at least seven times in the chest. The children, two girls age nine and seven years and their five-year-old brother were sleeping with their mother and woke when the incident occurred. After they began screaming the man fled leaving the knife and a hat behind. As her children watched, Doonwah attempted to move towards the door to close it but collapsed before doing so.
It was not until several hours after the incident that neighbours learned of the murder when the nine-year-old girl came to inform them of what had happened. They said that during the night they did not hear anything because there was a wedding nearby and the music drowned out any sound. The police were called and after arriving at the scene, went to a home close-by, where the other woman was living and caught the husband who was attempting to flee. Stabroek News understands that the man has since claimed that he had not been at home since Friday and was at the other woman’s home during the night.
Neighbours and relatives of Doonwah said that she endured years of domestic violence and her husband “used to beat her every night”. Relatives said that after linking up with him, ten years ago, repeated beatings forced the woman to turn to alcohol and the couple drank heavily. Shocked neighbours recalled that every night they endured screams of pain and terror as the woman received her blows. “This man cruel bad”, one declared recalling that Doonwah’s skin almost always bore marks of violence. According to the neighbours, after turning to alcohol, the children, who do not go to school, were neglected, with the couple using their money to buy rum. They said that with the amount of alcohol consumed and seemingly not caring to eat, they expected the woman to turn up dead someday. A shop-owner recalled the couple daily purchasing alcohol but rarely food “not even a pack tennis roll self”.
The children who were left to their own devices did not go to school. A neighbour recalled that at the beginning of the school term, she collected uniforms for them but they only went to school for two weeks and stopped. She said that she provided snacks for them also as the parents seemed not to care. When Stabroek News visited the house where the couple lived, the condition of the building was deteriorating and it sagged. The door to the white two-story house was open and a glance revealed items scattered throughout and no one had yet started to clean up. One of the rooms upstairs was exposed as a section of a wall was broken up. Weeds took over the yard giving it an untidy appearance.
At Doonwah’s relatives’ home, her brother, Satnarine recalled that he heard the news at about 7 am yesterday and went to the scene. His sister’s body was still lying on the floor and blood was everywhere. The relatives took the children home and stated that they had to find clothes for them as their clothing was filthy. They said that it was no use trying to retrieve the clothes from the children’s home because of the condition. “If you see the condition of the clothes, them thing fit only foh burn”, one man said. The children, who were very thin stuck close to one another and appeared bewildered.
The family said that they would look after them, and would each take a child. They noted that the siblings would be close to one another as the relatives they would be living with reside near to each other.