In a case where relatives considered that the death of a loved one was the result of battery, but which neighbours and the suspect claimed was a case of an unfortunate incident, made credible by the post-mortem results, which indicated that death was from a heart attack, the jury is out on that one, because the injuries on the woman’s body were in no way compatible with the fall the abusive spouse said she hand, and a violent attack could very well have precipitated the heart attack from which she died.
However, with tragic regularity, cases of outright murder following years of spousal abuse surface almost as an everyday occurrence and, sadly, the situation seems to have become such an endemic phenomenon in the society that each instance of a life taken in violence seems to be quickly forgotten.
And who takes cognisance that the lives squandered were precious to their loved ones – children, parents, siblings, friends, et al? Children are often the victims and the aftermath oftentimes produces delinquents – which is an evolutionary cycle of violence and problem-prone relationships.
Many times young men are accosted by members of the security services, sometimes ensuing in violent confrontations, and oftentimes it turns out that the young men in question were perpetrators of violent crimes, sometimes leading to the demise of their victims, yet their family members encourage their criminal forays because these ventures often provide the families of the perpetrators with unimaginable riches.
There are many overnight millionaires living in this society, whose ill-gotten riches were obtained from someone else’s hard work, and if they have to kill their victims in the process, then so be it.
But when they are caught, many persons in the society become very vocal in their defence – until they themselves become victims to these predators.
In the nation’s schools, violent behaviour is escalating, and most often decent children bear the brunt. But the real tragedy is that this behaviour is a duplication of attitudes and actions witnessed in home environments.
Many females in society, including many teenage girls, have so little self-esteem that they allow themselves to be treated with great disrespect by their male counterparts, which can escalate into myriad problems, including teenage pregnancy and the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.
Moral degeneracy has become so entrenched in the society that persons who refuse to participate in lewd and abominable conduct and conversation are seen as abnormal and not part of the team.
Unless communities begin to address these problems holistically, with everyone, especially the educational and religious authorities, as well as village elders and other authoritative figures playing an integral role in child development and the wellbeing of members of their communities, this scourge will perpetuate itself until persons and communities self-destruct.
Those who practice the standards of yesteryear are being mocked at today, but those standards were once the trademark of the Guyanese psyche.
The products of this system were decent, well-behaved law-abiding adults, who believed in the basic principles of honour, respect for their fellow humans, and compassion for the less fortunate in society.
The system practiced then in homes, schools and in entire communities involved training in decorum, deportment, and good manners, with the requisite and necessary inputs to achieving equitable intellectual, social and physical development. These behaviours and characteristic tendencies, as afore-mentioned, started from the home, and were strategically supported by a strong network involving the educational system and the community.