(Jamaica Gleaner) Following the murders of 43-year-old Dionne Smith and her 16-year-old daughter, Jay-Shenel Gordon, committed by Smith’s common-law husband in September, two pastors are urging women to leave abusive relationships and to be careful in choosing their life partners.
Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (WJC), and Pastor Joel Haye, past director of the WJC and current pastor of the Northern Caribbean University Church, made the plea in separate addresses during the joint funeral for Smith and Gordon at the Farm Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church in Farm Heights, St James, yesterday.
On September 23, Smith was stabbed to death by her common-law husband, Fabian Lyewsang, who then went to Gordon’s room and slashed the teenager’s throat while she slept. Lyewsang subsequently committed suicide by driving his car into the Rio Cobre in St Catherine.
While delivering the keynote sermon during Sunday’s emotional and tear-filled service, Samuels used his own relatives’ experience with domestic violence to emphasise the importance of carefully choosing one’s mate.
“I was a teenager when my aunt was stabbed 13 times by the man she claimed to be in love with, and I never did like him because he came to the family and we didn’t know anything about him. Choose well your companions, and know that there comes a time when some things and some people must be left behind,” said Samuels.
In his address, Haye warned women not to try changing their men and to trust their intuition when circumstances indicated that they should leave the relationship.