I am Vincia James. We are Vincia James. Not the one who was allegedly murdered at the hands of her ex-lover whose body has never been found, but one who has lived and perhaps still living under similar circumstances.
It broke my heart into pieces that this woman, who was crying out for help is most likely dead and will never be found.
I followed her case. I read the stories. The last days leading up to the “not guilty” judgment were shocking.
Based on text messages, this woman was being abused by her boyfriend. She claimed she had to make up stories about why she had bruises and why she constantly missed work. She had a little girl.
How many more women have to die at the hands of the one they trust to protect them in Antigua and Barbuda for the powers that be to take action?
Blame the woman. We are blamed for staying in relationships but most times, for many of us, we have nowhere to run. Because our sisters who are supposed to reach out and help us, are too busy gossiping about the relationship.
They would whisper to each other asking questions…” why dem still together when he bangs she up all the time”
How about reaching out to your sister? How about giving her the strength to leave and then live? Gossip kills and many women in Antigua and Barbuda are buried because the gossipers wasted time chattering instead of looking at ways that they can help. Even prayer can help.
Vincia James is but only one woman in recent times who died at the hands of her partner and it scares me deeply that some of the perpetrators are still out there, in relationships.
Victims after victim; with little or no form of protection for women from abusive men and relationships.
Police officers say they seldom get into domestic disputes because women constantly go back into the arms of abusers.
This may be so. But where are the safe houses in Antigua and Barbuda for abused women? Where is the place of safety? A shelter for these women and children who are no longer able to live in a house where men are abusive?
We have money to campaign for a few weeks and then watch the cash go down the drain with no substantial benefit to anyone.
Again, I ask, how many more women should die in Antigua and Barbuda before something is done?
Every time you think about Vincia James, understand that this could be your sister, your daughter, your aunty, your mother, your sister’s best friend, this could be you.
We are all Vincia James. And if something is not done soon enough, if all hands aren’t on deck, then we run the risk of having an end like hers. God forbid.