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Govt minister’s son allegedly assaults ex-girlfriend

Vanisha Seenauth (Latoya Gilles photo)

The son of a government minister has allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend, leaving her with a swollen right eye and tender head just days before she had been due to give birth to their baby.

27-year old Vanisha Seenauth alleged that Robeson Benn Jr. barged into her home during the pre-dawn hours of Sunday when she opened the door and assaulted her.

Obviously traumatized by an abusive relationship, a crying Seenauth said that on hearing someone knock on the door she opened thinking that it was her brother whom she had been expecting. She said when her brother arrived later, she sent him away because she did not want him to see her face.

When told of the alleged occurrence, the younger Benn’s mother sounded quite distressed.

Seenauth said police at Brickdam Police station declined to take a report immediately although she had obtained a medical certificate from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

However, she intends to return to the station on Monday to make a report as part of steps to have Benn Jr. charged and the court issue a restraining order to stay away from her.

The woman said that Benn called her later on Sunday, apologising for what he had done to her.

Seenauth did not deny that she had begged for him in the past after having reporting previous instances of alleged assault to the police. But this time, she is determined to let him face the full force of the law.

Sunday’s incident came two days before she had been due to give birth to their baby which she miscarried allegedly because Benn had kicked her several months ago at her home. During that incident, she had stabbed him once at her home resulting in him being hospitalized for several days at the GPHC.

They had been in a relationship for almost one year now until it ended when she was assaulted during the pregnancy. The woman lamented repeatedly that she has lost her baby and she would be going to a function at an orphanage without her child.

Already receiving support from Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awareness (CADVA), the woman expressed reluctance seeking assistance from other women’s rights organisations or counsellors.

Now virtually a recluse because of her traumatic experiences, Seenauth said that on one occasion she had decided to go to Hibiscus, Middle Street where she was allegedly assaulted in public by Benn.

Speaking recently at the formal opening of the Guyana Police Force’s Officers Training Centre, President Donald Ramotar urged the civilian law enforcement organisation to embrace a new attitude in dealing with “tyrants” who perpetrate domestic violence. He cautioned against brushing off reports of domestic violence as the personal affairs of couples because most reports have a history.

“We cannot look at those things as the personal business of a man and his wife. Each one of the things must be investigated and everyone must be looked at that can potentially lead to tragic consequences,” said the Guyanese leader.