Two women brutally attacked by men
… as the domestic violence continues
by Shirley Thomas
Guyana Chronicle
April 22, 2007

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A 33-year old Corentyne mother of four brutally chopped about her body by her reputed husband on Friday night is now in a critical state at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Bonita Leitch of Tain Settlement, Corentyne, whose left arm was severed above the elbow also suffered trauma to the head, chops to the left leg and a broken right leg. The woman who is being fed intra-veinously is confined to bed and unable to do anything for herself.

Leitch, once married and now separated from her husband, told the Sunday Chronicle that she shares the home her mother built for her at Tain with her four young sons and reputed husband. She recalls that on Friday evening the children’s father came to the house to visit them, and her reputed husband became annoyed.

After the children’s father had left the home, she said, her reputed husband started a confrontation with her, which she saw was heading for violence. Leitch said that around 22:00h she left the home in the company of her sister-in-law and was heading to a shop to buy ‘food’ when the he ran after her. She said she was already on the road when he overpowered her and whisked out a cutlass and started hacking away on her. The woman recalled that the incident took place in the full view off her sons and neighbours who, on hearing her agonizing screams had run out on the road.

The police were alerted and she was rushed to the New Amsterdam Hospital and later transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Her condition is listed as critical.

Meanwhile, in another act of domestic violence, levelled against a single mother, Edna Cornelius, 46, of Parika Backdam - a mother of nine, was on Thursday brutally assaulted by a man she said was previously her companion.

She is now a patient at the Georgetown Hospital with head and both arms hands strapped.. She sustained three gaping wounds to her head – one of which carries 7 stitches, and other injuries to her limbs.

Cornelius, a seamstress, said that at as a result of constant threats , assaults and torment from the man she had lived with for some time in the past, she was forced to secure a Protection Order through the Ministry of Human Services. She said that Thursday’s violent assault on her came just one week before the date for her to return to court in relation to battery.

The beleaguered woman said that on Thursday afternoon shortly after 16:00 hours, she was at the Parika Market where she had gone to deliver some window curtains she made for a stall holder. She said that while waiting to collect her money for the curtains, she saw her former companion passing by the stall. The man called her, but she refused to go, stating that she wanted nothing to do with him. This response apparently irritated and embarrassed him, she said, and he began to behave disorderly.

The woman said two constables and two jewellers who were nearby were summoned and they tried to appease him. However, no sooner had they left, that the man, whose name was given as Eon Grant, picked up a piece of green heart wood with rusty nails protruding and began to beat her with it..

“He beat me like a snake and break up both meh hands,” she said. Like Leitch, Cornelius cannot use her hands, and is confined to bed from where she is doing everything.

She recalled that the police eventually came and arrested him and threw him into a vehicle But he managed to jump through the window of the vehicle and escaped.

Even as she is lying on her hospital bed, the mother of nine, who said she has three children of school age, between the ages of 6 – 16, is deeply troubled and thinking of how they will get by on their own.

Attacks against Cornelius and Leitch came as Social Workers have begun speak about a sharp increase in the incidence of domestic violence (including murders) against women. Just two days ago, Mr. Frederick Cox, Director of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association, condemned these dastardly attacks in a radio viewpoint. Earlier in another case involving violence against women, the Guyana Human Rights Association mounted a picketing exercise outside a prominent business spot condemning atrocities executed in public view against Amerindian women.