LAITY

4 women killers, 4 feminicide victims and 10 long term victims. The latter represent the total number of children of the four women who have been killed by their partners since the beginning of September. They are probably the ones who carry the deepest wounds. They will be the ones who will have to mature well before their time, for such a brutal and visceral loss undoubtedly takes innocence away, innocence which had been gradually chipped away thanks to witnessing or being also the victims, alongside their mothers, of acts of violence within the home.

The two brothers who, despite being the victims of their violent father, courageously heeded their mother’s call to seek help to the police. They did not stop to go to the neighbours. They went straight to where they believed help would be unquestionably imminent. Unfortunately, that was not the case and the boys lost their mother. They might ask many tormenting “what if” questions and may well carry trains of thought about the timeline of that day for years to come. The daughters of Stephanie Menes might also question the effectiveness of the authorities since their mother had gone to the police to denounce her husband a few days before she was tied, tortured and killed by a man who cowardly took his own life. When the time comes for Chansela Perrine’s now little children to fully grasp how their mother died, here’s hoping that the authorities will have fine-tuned their ways to handle feminicides over and above Integrated Support Centres, increased fines or police women who are on call to answer to these calls of life or death situations. Here’s also hoping that the authorities realized that they should tie up with NGOs instead of harping about limited resources to protect women and children.

These children will have to meander their way through their lives with the fact that their parents died tragic deaths, with the authorities possibly being complicit to their mothers’ death. The authorities need to realise that to beget respect, they need to earn it, not through inaction or hiding behind bureaucratic red tape, but by showing initiative, and respect for others’ hell. This might then be a first step towards restoring a little faith in these broken children’s hearts as well as spare others from suffering similar fates.