Family members of the Providence woman, Patricia Dhanraj who was arrested after the stabbing death of her common-law husband during a fight, are standing at her side.
The woman’s family believes that she should not face any criminal charges since she was defending herself after years of physical abuse at the hands of the now-dead man.
Family members recalled that although the woman moved back to the home of her parents on Saturday, the husband still followed her there and attacked her, resulting in the deadly scuffle.
An Aunt of the woman said her niece was a victim of domestic violence for years and previous attempts to get out of the relationship failed. According to the Aunt, Sursattie Bimaul, the abuse was overbearing.
“She was in a common-law relationship for the past 12 years, they made three children and in those 12 years, she was abused. She was living in a domestic violence relationship with no happiness. He was always Drinking and assaulting her, he accused her of all types of things, he was not supporting the children the way he should as a father. And complaints were made against him, but nobody never acted on them”, the Aunt said.
The aunt said her niece made many attempts to escape from the abusive home, but the situation became worse.
“During the middle of the counseling, he begged and he asked for forgiveness, he apologized and because of the children, she always give him chances but it got more bad”, the woman said.
With three children to take care of now, the family is hoping that the Police investigations will allow the 23-year-old woman to return home.
Meanwhile, the rights group United Bridge Builders Mission is in full support of the family’s position and according to the head of the group, Bonita Montaque, it is becoming clearer that many women are not safe in their relationships and are afraid to get out.
“I’m concerned because if it’s not a man shooting a woman in her abdomen, it’s a shallow grave murder that we seem not to find the culprit for. When will it stop. There is no change from abuse, if you are not someone willing to stop, no counseling will penetrate you, no work will penetrate you because you have your mindset and so some families believe culturally that we can control that. I am really concerned” Ms. Montague said.
She said her organization will continue to lend support to women who are seeking a way out of abusive relationships.
The women’s rights activist said they need to leave those relationships and not believe that giving the abusive partner another chance will result in any change.