CARIBBEAN: Two women, one mentally ill and the other crippled, forced to live in inhumane conditions in Guyana

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CARIBBEAN: Two women, one mentally ill and the other crippled, forced to live in inhumane conditions in Guyana

Rescue2-300x160GUYANA CHRONICLES – Two West Coast Berbice women – one mentally ill and another crippled – were on Monday rescued from shocking conditions of abuse and neglect.

Officers of the Probation and Social Services Division of the Ministry of Social Protection in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice) have now placed the women in better care, after discovering the conditions under which they were forced to live.

The cases follow a similar one discovered on the Essequibo Coast four days ago, in which a 31-year-old woman who had been imprisoned by her mother for more than a year and forced to live under inhuman conditions.

A mentally-ill woman, said to be 31 years old, was found living in what the officers described as a “cage” some distance away from the family home at Belladrum village, WCB. She was completely naked at the time officers visited, and they had to break into the facility to get her out. The stench of faeces and urine, the Officers said, was overpowering.

There was no bed, no furniture, not even a piece of cardboard on the floor, the officers said. They learnt that the woman had been kept prisoner in that enclosure by her parents and relatives for the past 17 years. The officers said that relatives attempted to justify keeping the woman in that state by saying that she was demon possessed and was often adversely affected by the full moon. On full moon nights, they said, they had to tie her up with rope to restrain her from harming herself or others.

“The mother told us that she would bathe her by throwing water on her through holes in the wall,” the officers said.

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