By Yvonne Sam
Each time I read about yet another female killed at the hand of her male partner——-be the union legal, consensual or common law I undergo a complete mental shutdown. In other parts of the world guns and bombs are issues of critical concern and discussion. In Guyana it’s a totally different story. In some countries feral husbands put their intimate partners in hospital beds, while others put them in psychiatric institutions. In Guyana they put them in graves.
Therefore, arguably in Guyana husbands are incomparably more deadly than terrorists. If we really want to talk about the safety and security of females on homeland then the government needs to refocus its efforts on eradicating intimate partner homicide. It is blatantly obvious that nothing thus far has been efficacious. What has the experts yet to discover about this deadly phenomenon?
What has escaped their scrutiny in attaining a rationale? Justification of the killing by alluding to a solitary, central variable such as jealousy and male possessiveness is simplistic and partial at best. Despite the fact that male possessiveness, along with anger and jealousy all play a role in the full range of factors that engender a readiness to kill an intimate partner, it is more precise to consider the motive for murder in terms of conditions that are advantageous for the development of murderous violence, instead of in terms of one central personality variable.
Explaining away the brutal horrible behavior of Guyanese men as arising from love is in no way a justification for their actions. What is needed is to try to understand (without one iota of worry as to whether our findings are politically correct) the real state of mind that leads these perpetrators to kill their partners. Despite the fact that love is a moral, altruistic and well-intentioned emotion, there are some idealized notions about love that are from realistic. People are ready to use each other in the name of love and some people are prepared to die for love, and in the same vein women want to leave their male partner in the name of love—all with dire consequences.
Love songs daily inundate our lives with their words being no more than superficial clichés about love. The danger arises when these same clichés are adopted wholeheartedly with absolutely no attention to reality. Love then becomes a loaded gun. Murder a deliberate act, now becomes the end result of emotional ripeness that created mental readiness. It is plainly evident that the perpetrators perceived their attitude toward their victims as one of profound love.
However, recent research conducted in England has laid bare several alarming societal issues. Most importantly, they found that the majority of women are murdered by jealous, possessive, and controlling men. The ideas of entitlement bound up in masculinity are, in some cases, deadly. This sense of entitlement is so prevalent in the masculine culture, and this is where the real problem lies. We need to find out the root cause or from where and whence did Guyanese men acquire their sense of entitlement, and send notice to them that from hence things are going to be different.
We must get hold of the perpetrators, domestic abusers even if it entails corralling and get them into a program where they are under constant rigid surveillance and control, and which brings then face to face with their actions and forces them to face up to the way they think, before they go on to murder their next victim. They need to fully comprehend, denial, remorse and empathy, and start working through it. It is imperative that programs be immediately put in place and maintained wherein femicide perpetrators can go and talk to someone before they murder. As for the young people we need to start teaching them from a very early age about relationship break ups and how to deal with them, taking into full account the known fact that generally men deal with breakups worse than women.
Case in point refers to 17 year old Joshua Baveghems who in 2015 mercilessly bludgeoned his 14 year old teenage girl friend Angela Mc Allister with a spade. Such a dastardly and inhumane act was carried out after he accused her of infidelity. What a displaced sense of entitlement! He was recently sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. [see Kaieteur News Report here] Reports state that he has taken up boxing and hope to represent Guyana on the international stage. While wishing him well, I sincerely hope that the authorities simultaneously box him into a reformatory program, based solely on the ironical link between committed crime and new pastime.
I am calling on the appropriate authorities to take a serious look at the wave of home grown terrorism plaguing our land and the terrorists who carry out the heinous acts against selected members of the population. We have seen the acts!. We have the facts!, and as the eunuch asked Philip, “ What hinderest us to spring into action?”
And indicative of the wider problem…. One example is the lyrics of The Police’s Every Breath You Take. The possessive, jealous male is such a present figure in pop culture. But we shouldn’t be condoning or encouraging this mindset, because that is what many of these murderers have in spades.