Gender-based violence: A national concern

Dear Editor,
“Familicide,” is described by Wikipedia as, “a type of murder-suicide in which a perpetrator kills multiple close family members in quick succession, most often children, relatives, spouse, siblings or parents. ” On Saturday, December 12, 2020, Carolina Kennedy, 48, and her two daughters, 5-year-old Marianna and 3-year-old Gabriella Kennedy met their untimely demise in a fire allegedly set by Kenford Downer, the reputed husband of the late Carolina Kennedy.
It was reported that the late Carolina was abused by Downer in the past, in fact, he was even convicted of abuse. Just last week, Downer threatened to burn the house down and kill Carolina and little Marianna and Gabriella. He made good on those threats. His “justified” reason for this inhumane act is one that baffles me. It was mere speculation, several newscasts reported that Downer was annoyed that Carolina spoke to another man! As far as I read, she had a conversation with another man. This seems to be the senseless motive behind many of the killings of our women. It saddens me that Carolina had all the signs. There were many red flags. He was jealous, possessive, controlling, he had a bad temper and he was abusive, then why didn’t she leave? Many would ask. The answer, though simple, is far too complex.
While I cannot speak directly to the situation in which Carolina was in, I believe in some ways the reasons why some women remain in abusive relationships are the same. Some women are so fearful of their partners that they stay. While this doesn’t make sense to some, it makes perfect sense. It starts with emotional control. Victims are made to feel worthless and alone. Oftentimes, they feel as though they are responsible for the abuse meted out to them. Some women spend their entire lives in abusive relationships that end in death while some are lucky to get out alive.
It was reported that Carolina planned on reporting Downer’s threat to burn the house with her and the little girls to the police. Editor, had Carolina reported this threat earlier, would this have saved her and the little girls? I have my doubts about that. Domestic violence cases do not receive the appropriate response from the relevant authorities as they should until it is too late. I have heard it many times before that the police sometimes leave the cases as is because of the victim’s withdrawal of complaints and refusal to testify against the abuser.
When would violence against women be given the importance it ought to be given? Are the authorities taking the right approach to tackle this issue? When will the national discussion be held? Why is it that the most important element to fight against violence against women has been excluded? When will men actively join the discussion? When will they be invited to participate in empowering their brothers and when will they join the call to strengthen our women?
Editor, it is my hope that gender-based violence and abuse in any form be given the importance needed to be given. I believe we have a capable Minister of Social Services. The Honorable Minister needs to closely look into ways to decrease and eliminate gender-based violence. What was done hasn’t worked. More of our girls were raped and our women killed. Over the past few months, we have seen the most atrocious acts of abuse being perpetrated against our girls and women. Enough evidence to conclude that gender-based violence is men’s issue!
I pray for the souls of Carolina and those two beautiful angels Marianna and Gabriella to find a resting place. I pray for the families of the deceased to be comforted and trust God to bring them through their devastating loss. It is my hope that their killer is dealt with to the full extent of the law. Furthermore, it is my wish that this is the last we read of something so barbaric and inhumane to be done against our women and girls.

Yours truly,
I Ram