A Berbice woman, fearful that her abusive husband would carry out his threat to kill her, attempted to end her life on Thursday evening and now says she has had enough and wants out of the relationship.
Seema Raman, 40, was rushed to the Fort Wellington Hospital, West Berbice where she is currently recovering.
In tears, she recounted to Stabroek News the hours she spent while being tortured and abused by the man she shared 18 years of her life with.
The attack happened, like it did in the past, all because she dared to voice her opinion and to oppose a decision he wanted to make. At the time they were in their minibus along the East Coast Demerara public road.
She said that the man became angry and stepped on the accelerator before applying brakes rashly, telling her “both awe gon dead.”
Scared for her life, she used the opportunity to escape, screaming for help. But he caught up with her and cuffed her face until it started to bleed, she said.
He drove her several miles away to a small house they own on a garden plot at Fort Wellington, West Berbice. She lost consciousness along the way.
When she regained consciousness, she said that the man had already tied her hands to a bed with pieces of rope and was about to tie her feet.
She started to scream for help but no one could hear her in the desolate area. She said that the man also stood over her with a knife and threatened to slit her throat.
She begged him to spare her life so she could get to see their three children; a boy, age 16 and two girls, ages 10 and 7 years old. The children live elsewhere.
He insisted that he would kill her and at that stage she told him “don’t slit my throat because I don’t want to punish… Just bore me and kill me or give me some poison. And he tell me he gon cut me up all over and punish me before me dead.”
She decided to bargain with him and said she would “agree to whatever you want to do… I won’t tell anybody what happen and I won’t involve the police; just take me to see my children.”
He then released her and took her to Blairmont to see her children. But when she got there she broke her promise and started to relate everything that had transpired and this angered him.
She said that he forced her to return to the hut with him but she refused for fear that he would carry out his threat. The man again threatened to kill her if she called the police.
“Me din know wat to do because me na had nobody to rescue me. Me mother is not around and me sister said she na able wid we problem anymore,” the woman said in tears.
Confused and scared, knowing that she would not get off easily for refusing to go with him, Raman decided to take drastic action and ingested a quantity of sleeping pills belonging to her sister.
She said that the man rushed her to the hospital and the following morning when he visited her he inquired “if me tell the nurses anything. I tell he `yes, ah tell dem everything’”.
The man then hurried out of the institution and called on her son’s cell phone and asked to speak to her. “He tell me if the police lock he up he gon come out back and search fuh me and murder me and kill he self.”
Health workers had contacted the police and the officers visited her on Friday afternoon to take a statement.
As she lay writhing in pain at the hospital and regretting the 18 years she spent with the man who she said robbed her of her self-esteem, Raman said she has had enough.
With tears streaming down her face, she recalled the constant beatings and torment she endured at his hands and said she badly wanted to end the relationship.
She tried many times to run away and he also threw her out on several occasions but he would always “hunt me down and beg me to come back and promise that he would change. “I couldn’t move on in peace; he would always find me.”
To make matters worse, her relatives would ignore her when she begged them to call the police. They would also encourage her to return to him, saying: “when you done married somebody you can’t leave, you have to stay.”
She was not allowed to leave the house, to even go to the shop or market without him. If she did, she would have to be prepared to face more “blows.”
At one time when she walked out on him he sold their house at Bath New Scheme. He then started renting a house at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara and she was forced to move there with him. But her children were afraid of him and chose to stay with her sister. Her son was the first to start living with his aunt at a young age.
According to Raman, her husband has a violent temper and would hurt her physically and mentally when he does not get his way.
One month ago she said that he hit her and flung her into a concrete wall. She still suffers severe back pain but he had refused to take her to the doctor.
Most of the blows she received would be to her head and have been affecting her terribly. She ended up having to wear spectacles but the same day she got it she said he broke it and threw it away.
The woman is pleading for the support of women’s organizations to help her to get out of the relationship and finally be able to move on.
According to her, “This is enough; it overbearing now, me ain’t able no more and me ain’t know what to do. I hope somebody can help me.”