There was a sad funeral yesterday, that of Anuska Tromp, 47, who died Aug 6th, of an incident of domestic violence the previous day.
She died in the hospital in the early morning hours having suffered fatal blows to her head, at the hand of her partner who was then arrested in his apartment, oblivious to the dire consequences of his angry outburst.
From what I gather, Anuska was preoccupied in recent months, a diabetic wound refused to heal, and she lost her job as cashier at Kowloon restaurant, where she worked for many years. She spoke openly and about her health and financial concerns but never reported her life was in danger at the hand of a violent significant other.
She was never registered at Fundacion pa hende muhe den dificultad, the local foundation offering counseling and support, and did not share any of her trials with acquaintances.
But family members should have known. Hence the deep sadness at her funeral yesterday.
She came from a very humble background, and by that we mean poor. She was a motherly figure at school, warm, caring and responsible. She worked at low paying jobs from an early age, had 2 kids, now grown, and fell on hard times.
She never reported her abusive partner to the Police, though her eyes told the story of a woman trapped between a rock and a hard place.
From sources at Fundacion pa hende muhe den dificultad, I understand that domestic abuse is a common reality in Aruba and that the foundation designed a Crisis Plan designed to deal with it, which involves more funding and professional guidance from a similar Dutch organization.
With just four people on staff, a social worker, a coordinator, an administrator and a housekeeper at the shelter there is only that much the foundation can do to save lives.
A committee organized in the wake of Anuska’s tragic death suggested a law change to allow family members to lodge official complaints against abusers in cases where the abused is incapable of acting herself.
Anuska hid her abuse, she was paralyzed, brainwashed, a prisoner of a toxic relationship, silent and helpless, walking on eggshells around her partner. She paid the ultimate price.
Where did we fail her?