Monday, July 09, 2012
Demand Justice for Jessie Williams
Women of the Bahamas, are you paying attention to domestic abuse victim Jessie Williams, on trial now in a Nassau court for the murder of her husband? I am reading the report of her testimony yesterday in this morning's paper and urge you to read it too. If anyone in this country deserves public outcry in their defense it is this woman. For eighteen years she was beaten, choked, pushed down the stairs, imprisoned, impoverished and abused by this man. He killed two of her dogs with his bare hands. He spent two years in jail for pushing her down the stairs when she was eight months pregnant. In the final altercation, when he was choking her in their van, she got her hands on the knife he always kept there and stabbed him in an attempt to save her own life. Jessie Williams, it is clear, killed this convicted abuser in self defense and should be cleared of all charges. She is the victim here. Her story should be headlines, not a cocaine bust, because the abuse of women and children is by far the biggest social and criminal emergency facing The Bahamas today. We as women are responsible for one another, and especially for our sisters who are in the most trouble. I believe we are obligated to speak out for justice for domestic abuse victims like Jessie Williams. And when someone asks us that question they always ask, "Why did she stay?" we answer this way: Stop preaching love and forgiveness in church then turn around and punish a domestic abuse victim for loving and forgiving an abusive husband. Jessie Williams cried over his dying body, she called for help. She told the court she never meant to kill him, that in spite of it all, she had loved him. She loved the wrong man. This is so sad. It is not a crime. It does not mean she deserved to be assaulted and forced to kill a man in order to save her own life. Who will speak out for justice for Jessie Williams, and for all the many thousands of women in The Bahamas she now represents? I will. I ask my conscious caring sisters to join me.