Saturday, October 01, 2011

An abuser is not a ‘bad boy’ that daring females should find intriguing

(Originally published in Guyana’s Stabroek News on 24 September 2011)  

According to the Toronto Sun, “One of Canada’s ‘Most Wanted’ criminals, who was convicted twice of beating women, has been deemed a threat to public security.” Since this most wanted criminal is a Guyanese, Canada has sent him back here.

The report said, “Shameer Ally Allie, 36, of Guyana, was picked up Thursday [September 15] by the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police]. He had been on the run since January to avoid deportation stemming from a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for assault causing bodily harm, threatening death, assault with a weapon and twice failing to report to authorities.”

Allie arrived in Guyana this past week and now his conduct is the business of local law enforcement. The Canadians called him “a violent offender who has shown no sign of remorse or rehabilitation.” What did he do that was so bad?

The Toronto Sun report said, “…[He] was convicted in 2003 for attacking a common-law wife with a baseball bat…Allie also attacked another woman, whom he was seeing, with a ‘large kitchen knife’ after he accused her of dressing provocatively, Stephanie Echlin, a counsel for the immigration department said.

“The woman was threatened with death several times and escaped after the building’s landlord heard a struggle and ran to her aid. ‘Both of those assaulted were women with whom he had a close relationship,’ Echlin said. ‘He (Allie) is a violent offender who has shown no sign of remorse or rehabilitation.’”

As if Guyana’s women didn’t already have enough violence to deal with, now they have yet another man who was convicted of assaulting his wife with a baseball bat and attacking a woman he is seeing with a knife because she was dressing too provocatively for his taste.

In my opinion, it is difficult to understand why anyone would think it is defensible to beat a woman for “dressing provocatively,” not cooking the right food, not saying the right words, etc, when the aggressive act itself is far more immoral than any of those lesser “offences.”

Please note that I do not consider those actions by women offensive, but I am attempting to put things into perspective. How does one think it is wrong for a woman to stand up for herself to her husband or dress however she may like but consider it is right for a man to hit a woman?

This type of thinking has to be more about control and power than about morals.

It greatly concerns me that any abuser can come to Guyana (or may already live in Guyana), blend into society and easily find another woman he can knock around to sate an overinflated ego. The unassuming women of Guyana are at a significant disadvantage, as most do not even consider the risk of the good-looking guy at the club being a woman beater.

More importantly, if an abuser chooses to assault a woman here with a baseball bat or a large kitchen knife, chances are that he will get away with it, especially if he knows the right people. We have seen offenders get away with abuse similar to this and even worse (like the husband who shot his wife recently). In fact, we have seen offenders get away with murder.

Last March marked a year since Leeloutie ‘Pinky’ Seeram, a mother of two, was killed when chopped to the back of her head. She also had three fingers on her left hand severed. Her husband did this after he came home drunk one night. It was said that he often abused Pinky, so she lived no easy life. And in the end, her own husband took her life in a drunken rage.

He also chopped Pinky’s mother, Lata ‘Cheryl’ Inderdeo, 52, to her right shoulder and left palm as she tried to help her daughter. Cheryl survived the attack, but has a long scar down her right arm and across her left hand.

The children from the marriage, who grew up seeing their father beat their mother, now have no mother at all.

The husband is still on the run, though he did visit Guyana earlier this year and while it was known he was in the country, he was not arrested. Cheryl and her grandchildren live in fear of the day he decides to come back again.

This Diwali will be one year since Babita Sarjou went missing after constant threats from her husband. It has to be assumed that she is dead and yet no one is being held accountable.

On February 21 of this year, I read a status update on NCN’s Facebook page that said, “President Bharrat Jagdeo is calling on citizens to break the silence to injustice. The Head of State was referring to the issue of domestic violence where persons fail to render assistance to victims.”

I did wonder if Jagdeo truly made this very important statement since no other media house picked up the story. Regardless, I am curious as to what he thinks about the fact that yet another domestic violence offender has been injected into Guyanese society. I wonder what Human Services Minister Priya Manickchand thinks about it?

I am using today’s column to advocate that women protect themselves. Keep a watch out for any man who displays signs of being a woman beater.

An abuser is not a bad boy that a daring female should find intriguing, he is someone who likes to control every aspect of a woman and when she doesn’t comply, will cause great harm to her mentally, physically and emotionally.

Whether in the clubs, at the restaurants or any number of other places, be on your guard against becoming the next victim.

This policy of avoidance applies to all men known to beat and abuse women. If he has a reputation for domestic violence, stay away! No matter how charming or intriguing he may seem, a bit of exploration is not worth your life. Be smart. Use wisdom. And if necessary, call the police.

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