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Married to a time bomb - Wife remains even though husband has vowed to kill her

Published:Sunday | August 7, 2016 | 8:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris

"It is like you are in this prison and you dare not try to get out, because even though you are there and the situation is bad, it's like leaving is going to be worse."

This is how Camille* sums up her marriage of several years to an abusive man who she claims has tried on at least three occasions to kill her, and has made numerous threats to kill them both.

Camille's first near-death experience at the hands of her abusive partner came before they even said 'I do'.

But she was a teenager at the time, and after pacifying him, she convinced herself that this was a one-off experience unlikely to be repeated.

She recalled that the incident stemmed from an argument they had.

"I don't remember what we were arguing about, or he was arguing with me about, because I don't normally argue. People would say it takes two to make a quarrel, but for me, he would be arguing about something by himself. I don't have to be answering him," said Camille.

"He pulled me out of the house and drove me to this place where there was a canal and threatened to push me off, and I just started crying and I hugged him up and that's how I saved my life that night.

"I should probably have left, but then I got a child for him and I got married," added Camille.

She said that after they got married, her husband barely paid her any attention and even started a relationship with another woman. He, however, ended that relationship when she decided to empower herself by going to university and getting a job.

"I was insecure, I lacked self-esteem and I had no confidence, but it seems that was where he wanted me to be, so he would pay me no mind, he would just go out and have his fun and cheat.

"When I started working, that's the time he started paying me attention, and then he became obsessed that I am going to be cheating and my boss is going to look me and this man is going to look me. The abuse got worse," Camille told The Sunday Gleaner.

 

MURDER THREATS

 

She said her husband slaps her regularly and she has been forbidden to keep the names of male friends in her phone. On one occasion he read her messages and started an argument with her because he said she was discussing him with her relative.

That led to an argument while they were driving one day, and he slammed her head into the car mirror. She reacted by slapping him on the shoulder.

"He said a murder mi a go murder you now, so he started driving very fast and mad," said Camille, who explains that she seldom fights back since he is bigger than her.

She said he drove her to another parish and stopped at a deserted area, where he dragged her out of the car and started badgering her. He dragged her through some bushes, and feeling that they were out of earshot, he pushed her to the ground. Fortunately, his phone fell and after realising he was distracted, she ran for her life.

Camille said he started to run after her, but she was much faster and so eventually, it seemed, he stopped and went back to the car. She said she was so fearful of going back and running into him that she slept that night in the bushes.

The mother of one said despite that second warning sign that her husband could kill she went back to live with him for the sake of her child.

According to Camille, she has tried leaving on several occasions, but she always goes back eventually. Even after he took her into another deserted location some time after and threatened to take her life again.

"He tells me to leave sometimes, but I can't leave and I will never leave, because I am not leaving my daughter and he will be like, you are not taking her and I am not leaving her, so I'm still there," she explained.

 

GOING TO THE POLICE

 

Camille said she cries regularly when she contemplates her life and had even gone to the police to make a report in the past. However, she dropped the matter.

"I'm just afraid that if I let the police go and warn him, he is going to react, because he is that kind of crazy. He is very intelligent, very charming. If you see him, you would never think that these things that I am saying are true. He thinks he is bigger than the law," she said.

Camille said he generally reissues his threats whenever he hears of another murder-suicide in the news.

The country recorded its latest two weeks ago, after security guard Paul Martin shot and killed his common-law wife Collette Hibbert while she was at work at the tax office in downtown Kingston, before turning the gun on himself. They were said to have been together for 18 years and had a child.

"Whenever something like that happens, he would say to me that he understands exactly why the man does it, like he is in the head of the man and he knows exactly why, and I mustn't think that it cannot happen to me and him, because women full a problem," she said.

Camille fears that she might be the next statistic and she constantly lives in fear, but at this point, she believes there is no other option but to stay be with her child.

* Name changed on request

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com