"I am a survivor. I've endured years of verbal torment but I did not let my situation affect my life forever."
These are the words of a survivor of domestic abuse, Delita John, who would have suffered for years in silence but eventually took control of her life by exiting the unhealthy relationship.
Delita hails from an Amerindian village called Campbelltown, in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and was enduring verbal abuse for most of the years after getting hitched at the age of 21.
"I got married in 2000 and for three years I was in a happy relationship. But after that I was not in a happy relationship because the things that I was going through for the past seven years."
Delita says her then husband was neither an alcoholic nor a drug addict, but had a "loose" tongue that caused her emotional pain, some of which was irreparable.
The effects of the almost daily display in her home were also affecting her children, who were attending school at that time.
“My children couldn’t take their education because they were going through the same abuse. They used to come to school but they were not focusing on what they were doing. All they were studying was what will happen when they reach home.
I used to sit and cry many days. He never knock me or my children, never never-since me and he got married. But just the words he used to tell us.”
What made the already untenable situation worse is when Delita found out that her husband was allegedly having extra marital affairs. This ushered her darkest moment and had she followed through, she would have been convicted for murder and perhaps be spending the rest of her life in jail.
“I made up my mind to drink poison and give my children poison; four kids. But I don’t know, that day was not the time for me because when I go to do this thing, I locked the house everything. Nobody was in the house, just me and my five children. And when I locked the door and mixed the poison to go give my kids, I heard a voice, I heard a voice and it was like ‘my daughter, your pain is over’ and I heard this voice three times. I then threw away the poison.”
Being at the lowest point, Delita decided it was time to take control of her life and decided to leave the relationship. At that time, she was two months pregnant with her fifth child for her husband.
Conscious that being a single parent with five kids was a monumental task, this resilient woman decided that retaining her sanity and giving her children the best possible opportunities in life were most important.
“I got encouraged from many people to separate my husband, which is my ex right. I used to just ignore these people because I thought my husband, he was the person that was by my side, or he was a person that loves me then. I used to tell myself that if I walk away from him, I would never see somebody again or that will be the end of my journey.
I could remember my grandparents telling me that is you have to make that decision, not nobody else. Leaving was very very rough but I had to make it through because I make up my mind to walk off.”
After leaving her marriage and getting divorced, the mother of five sought help from the United Nations Shelter for Hope and completed a two-year social work course.
She now works as a counsellor and has loads of advice for persons in abusive situations.
“I want to educate myself; I want to further it because I want to educate those who are in abusive life. And I want to also encourage children who are going through sexual abuse and drug abuse and other things to get out. Even if the police is not helping you, get somebody that could bring your problem to the higher authority, who will look into your your problems because a lot a lot is struggling out of there.”