Story of a horrific life, no woman should endure
By Leroy Smith
Bibi Nazarena Houston, 24 years old of East Bank Essequibo (E.B.E) is now childless, has one arm, one and a half finger, scars about her body and memories of her children’s scream for help before they were slaughtered.
July 31, 2017, will mark four years since the woman who was 21 years old at the time, was gruesomely attacked along with her two children by a man named Richard Lord.
In 2013, Lord got into a fit of rage and killed the children by hacking them to death. They represented the offsprings from the common-law union he shared with Houston.
At the time of their death, the children; Kimberly Houston and Tarif Lord were five and two years old, respectively.
The man also attempted to take her life on that said day but failed, as she faked her death. After he was convinced that the woman and her children were dead, he made a dash for freedom and remained in hiding until his body was found hanging from a tree one week later, in the thick bushes a short distance from where he carried out the gruesome attack.
Bibi Houston told the News Room that she first fell in love with him at the age of 13 and decided to run away from her mother’s Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo home, to live with Richard Lord at his family’s home at Wales, West Bank Demerara (W.B.D).
Huston explained; days after moving in with her common-law spouse who was 18 years old at the time, she began enduring constant abuse at his hands, and that abuse continued and intensified until the day she was hospitalised in a critical condition.
The young woman who seemed high in spirits when we visited unexpectedly, is now in another common-law relationship. She spoke of the experience she had in a
However, she was open to sharing her experience during a six-year abusive relationship with a possessive and insecure partner.
“It was like a living hell because everything you do it offended him from the very start, if someone pass and say good morning, you cannot reply; to him it’s a problem, he always want to know is who especially if it’s a male you can’t have no friends you can’t socialise with no one” she recalled.
According to her, Richard would sit and provide her with reasons why she should not be in constant contact with her mother and other siblings. She said he told her, that they would influence her into leaving him as they did not like him.
Sadly, Houston told the News Room that she believed the man, and she did everything possible to make him happy, but looking back at the situation now, she is convinced that her efforts were in futility.
Richard Lord would step up his abuse of Houston, and this would cause his siblings to intervene, but that did little to help. According to Bibi, his siblings began to take a hands-off approach after they intervened one day, and he accused his brother of being intimate with her. She said that Richard’s brothers would even remind him that he has a sister, and that he would not be comfortable if another man was to treat his sister that way.
That, however, did little to deter the abuser. Houston began moving back to her mother’s house as the abuse continued, but Richard was not willing to let go. Like every abuser, he uttered the words which resonate with persons who are victims of abuse.
“Every time he hit me he keep saying he sorry, he sorry, he sorry and it would not happen again; every time. And every time I go away, when he hit me I go away; I always feel sorry for him and go back and mommy does always ask Natasha what happen why you come away, I does say nothing is just a minor problem, I never tell mommy what happen and I always keep going back, going back with him because I said he goon change because every time he always promise me that he will change but it never change he get from bad to worst” Bibi related.
Realising that she was being fed empty promises, she followed the advice of her friend with whom she sought refuge. She did not disclose the location to her relatives or even to Richard as she was afraid that he would show up and harm her.
Several weeks before the gruesome attack, Bibi decided to get the Welfare authorities involved. She told the News Room that throughout her six years of abuse and life-threatening experiences, she never one day made a report against her reputed husband, because she believed in his promises.
For some, especially Bibi and her relatives, she waited a little too late to take the appropriate action. She told the News Room that after the attack that was when she became aware of a place called ‘Help and Shelter.’
On that fateful day, she was heading to the Welfare Department when she was ambushed by Richard who showed up in a taxi and forced her and the two children into the car.
After forcing her into the taxi, he began beating her all the way to where they lived. She stated that during the beating, she begged the taxi driver to take the vehicle to the station, but the driver ignored her.
When they arrived at the shack in which they resided at the time, he forced the woman and the children into the house. He then sent the older child to purchase something at the shop. Once the child was out, Richard Lord proceeded to physically and sexually abuse his victim.
When the older child returned to the house, Richard instructed Bibi to cook for him, but she refused, citing that it will only make him stronger to continue beating her. However, her children requested something to eat and so she ended up cooking.
It was while preparing to serve her younger child that a cutlass attack started. Richard who worked as a cane cutter was earlier sharpening a cutlass, but Bibi said she was not too alarmed as he would usually do that every night.
Bibi also related the gruesome events of that evening her children were killed.
“All I felt was a burning on my right hand when I turn and look my arm was slinging just a piece of skin, and after my daughter saw that she get up to run, and when she run to open the door, he just slice her neck, and the food that she was eating just come through. After the neck fall forward, the food just start spraying and blood and the baby start screaming and I just hold my hand and say that you killed my daughter. He was not replying and I asked him what she did to you, and he tried to chop the left hand and after I saw the right hand already damage I turn, so instead of the left hand get it, the right hand start getting the chop so the right hand was so minced up that it could not mesh back and I just chuck him on the bed with the left hand and he telling the baby don’t run, and I say baby run. and the boy was confused, and with the blood all over, he was confused and he keep screaming, and the lamp out because we did not had current, and after that baby did not run. I run to open door for baby (but) he chop and I lost all my fingers…H.e grab me by my hair and wrap it round his hand and he go to chop me I drop down on my knee and when I think was my neck, was hair and he thought that I was dead and after the whole place was dark and all I hear is the sound and the thing that pitch was my son brains just pitch next to me”
Bibi Nazarena Houston spent several weeks in the hospital; she was unable to attend the funeral of her children whose funeral expenses were catered for, by the brothers and sisters of Muslim faith in the community.
She told the News Room that the attack caused her to have a hatred for all men, but after receiving counselling and being supported by ‘Help and Shelter’ to get her life back on track; the hatred has since gone.
Today she has a new partner who she knew from childhood. She said that he treats her very nice and is very loving to her. His children who are now foster children are also very appreciative of her.
Her left hand is in tack, but with the exception of her small finger and part of her thumb finger, all others were completely severed. She uses artificial fingers and an artificial right arm.
Asked how she performs household chores, the survivor said that she bathes herself and wash for herself but is unable to comb her hair and cut up greens and meat. Her new partner helps her a lot and even combs her hair when his daughter is not around to do it.
Her advice to women in abusive relation is “get out because your life, your children’s life and your relatives, may all depend on it.”
The News Room will be bringing you a televised interview with Bibi Nazarena Houston in a subsequent report.