Learning that your four-year-old angel has been sexually molested is a nightmare for any parent but when the molester is your spouse and the father of the child your world collapses around you and it becomes a fight to move from one day to another.
This is how a 23-year-old mother of two described the days after learning that her baby girl had been molested by her spouse of six years. But even as she hurts and the pain seems unbearable she wants to see the man she once loved pay for what he has done to their child.
As tears rolled down her cheeks the young mother described the awful moment when the little girl revealed what her father had been doing to her. She reported the matter to the police but her pain was compounded by the fact that in so doing she became a pariah in the neighbourhood she once called home, as many felt that she should have kept her mouth shut.
Others, while sympathizing with her, offered no help and wanted to remain neutral, fearing that the alleged molester’s family would turn against them. Still others encouraged her to accept the large sum of money offered by a relative of the man to settle the matter.
In the end with the help of one woman, she fled the Region 8 community and is now lodging with a benevolent relative of that woman with no clue of what tomorrow holds for herself and two young children. Since she left, the man and his relatives have been calling her unceasingly asking her to drop the matter and to return home. He has now even promised to marry her if she returns.
“But I can’t go back to he after what he do to she. I use to treat he good and cook and everything fuh he and now he do this to we child…,” the mother said in an interview with the Sunday Stabroek.
For her, the black and blue marks still evident on her body did not warrant the end of the only stable relationship in her life. In fact she forgave him time and time again in the past for beating her mercilessly, but molesting their daughter has signalled the death of it.
Even as she cried from the pain of knowing the trauma her daughter would have experienced all those times she left her with father, while she went to buy groceries, the reaction of his relatives towards her and the children is also an experience she can never forget.
“He father tell me go long me way because Buck people is nah human being. How he could say something like that about he own grandchildren?” the woman asked as she wept uncontrollably.
The woman is also fearful that the police in the mining community may botch the investigation as there is talk of officers being paid off. The man was arrested but subsequently released with the police informing that the next court date in the region is April 19. The mother with the help of the woman who has given her temporary shelter reached out to the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) and its President Simona Broomes has vowed to help her fight for justice.
While the young mother for years was verbally and physically abused she never thought about leaving because she felt there was no way out. “Sometimes he tell me to go and I does pack up but me ain’t get nowhere to go and I just pack up and then we just stay…,” the woman recalled.
She said the man would repeatedly accuse her of being unfaithful and once he even told a relative of his to make sexual overtures to her as he watched from a distance. The relative, the woman said, even attempted to force himself on her and she had to “jump through de back door.
“But I know is he set up he cousin to do it because he ride he bicycle and den come back and deh in a house nearby…”
She never reported the beatings even though the man’s mother – who is said to be a member of a local women’s organisation – would encourage her to do so.
“But she would just say call de police but she ain’t calling de police and she don’t talk to her son…,” the woman said sadly. She also did not want to return to the remote village where her relatives live, because she believed life would have been more difficult economically for her and her children.
She had moved to the Region 8 community after her father died on the invitation of an uncle. She initially went with her mother and three brothers but they decided to leave after a while. She opted to stay as she had gained employment as a cook and it was there she met the man for whom she later bore a daughter and a son.
“I use to fetch bucket pun bucket a water every day, but I use to do it and I always cook and lef he food in the oven, give he food when he come home, treat he good even when he beat me I does treat he good,” she said.
He gave her no money, prevented from going out—giving her the name Cinderella—and was unfaithful all of which she was prepared to live with since she felt she could not have done better.
However, things took a turn for the worst after she observed the man making suggestive remarks to the young girls in the area. “He would tell dem like dey getting thick, and dey looking good and things like dat and I know is nah right so I tell dem mother…,” she said.
The mother initially did nothing but one night under the influence of alcohol she “start fuh cuss he up and talk about it and he say is me who tell she …I say no but he still beat me.” But even as she was being pummeled by the man she heard the neighbour make a remark that froze her and she felt she had died.
“I hear she saying how he does deh in the house with he daughter watching blues and fingling she…”
After a restless night which was saw her being continuously abused verbally and physically by the man, the woman said she questioned her daughter the following morning.
“She tell me how daddy does watch wicked movie and she does sit down on he lap and he does play with she [vagina] and does mek she touch he [penis]…”
Shocked, the young mother said she recalled her daughter crying out sometimes when she was being given a bath and saying her vagina hurt but she “didn’t tek it for nothing.” The mother dressed her daughter for school and left home under the pretext that she was taking the child to school but instead she took her to the hospital where she was seen by a nurse who advised her to make a report to the police.
This was done and a medical was obtained which proved that the child was molested and the man was then arrested.
He was held for a few days during which time she made frequent visits to the station as the police kept asking her for additional information even though she had given a detailed statement. Every time she went, she would see the man who would confront her and it is now believed that it was a tactic to force her to drop the matter.
However, she remained firm that she wanted the man charged even after a relative offered $1 million to settle the matter, but at the same time accused her of “setting she cousin up and question me daughter and say how I putting she fuh lie on she father.”
Eventually the man was released on bail and the woman had nowhere to stay because she was afraid to remain in the same house with him. He boasted that he had paid the police $400,000 and that he would not be charged and placed before the court. She went to the Toshao in the village who told her there was nothing she could do to help. “She tell me dat she sorry fuh me and so but they don’t have nowhere to put people like me…,” she said.
Then a woman in the area contacted her sister who agreed to take the woman into her home temporarily.
She was given some money and placed on a bus in the middle of the night with her children and was met at the bus park by the benevolent woman.
“I don’t know long I could keep she, but she is a human being and she gat children…,” the woman said.
Her sister has been verbally abused thrice by the man who is demanding that he be told where the woman and his children are even as he calls her repeatedly demanding and begging that she return home.
Got a call
Broomes said her organisation received a call about the woman’s plight. She described what happened to the child as despicable and lamented the fact that the woman has been taken advantage of throughout the six years she has been with the man.
She said several persons have called the organisation from the community begging her to help the woman and she is happy for the support even though they are doing it “behind the scenes.”
Broomes lambasted the police at the station for the treatment meted out to the woman and again issued a call to the Guyana Police Force to do a seriously overhaul of police stations in the interior instead of “accusing me of lying.
“I am calling on the police to make some changes…. I think it is time the police in authority looked at the situation and did something…. It is in chaos. It is out of hand,” she said.
The Sunday Stabroek understands that the man was re-arrested but has since been released as the investigation continues.
The young mother is hoping to receive some assistance to start a new life in the city, as according to her, “I can’t go back deh and me ain’t get nowhere to go.”