Alleged domestic violence claims young mother’s life

The young woman who died from injuries sustained during an alleged domestic violence episode today lies in the morgue while her family is seeking help from the welfare office to get custody of her children.

This tragic incident occurred on Sunday July 29th in Port Moresby’s Five-Mile suburb and the late Danagi Gumai’s husband, who has been suspected of beating her to death, is now in police custody.

Gumai’s mother Emily Gemo told Loop PNG that her sister called her at about 5:30pm on Monday, July 30th, to tell her that Danagi was taken to the Port Moresby General Hospital’s emergency the previous day.

“A girl who knows my daughter and her husband, contacted my sister and told her that Danagi was in the hospital because her husband beat her up,” she said.

“The (doctors) there told me that the people who brought her to the ICU, left immediately after.”

Gemo said her daughter died at about midday Monday; her husband was taken into police custody the same day.

“The doctor at the emergency told us they could not do an operation on my daughter on Sunday because there was no family present to sign papers that will give them permission,” she said.

She told Loop PNG that on Tuesday July 31, she and her family visited the late Danagi at the hospital morgue, but were prevented from touching her body as doctors reported she had severe head injuries and damaged brain tissues; a post mortem would be done.

When asked if the family knew of past domestic violence issues between late Danagi and her husband, Gemo said on a number of occasions, she had to tell her son-in-law to stop beating her daughter.

“When they (fought), I used to talk to her husband and tell him to stop hitting her because the next time it might be worse.”

Danagi, in her mid-30s, is survived by her husband and four children.

Her mother said the hospital emergency staff advised her and her family that they have a serious case where Danagi died from an alleged act of violence, so they must protect her children.

“Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will go to the hospital and get a medical report, and then we will go to the welfare office to get custody of the children.”

Gemo, who is a widow, lost one daughter in 2005, and is now mourning the loss of another.

Salome Vincent