The teenage daughter of Raquel Madoo is now in the care of her grandmother Deomattee Madoo.
Raquel, 33, from Felicity in Chaguanas died on Thursday at hospital after drinking a poisonous substance on Monday. She had complained of years of abuse at the hands of a close male relative who is said to be a soldier.
In a letter she wrote before she died, Raquel detailed the 17 years of abuse she endured at the hands of the relative whom she also accused of physically abusing her 13-year-old daughter. The girl remained in the male relative’s care while Raquel was in hospital.
Madoo yesterday said following the death of Raquel, the relative told her he would like to leave Raquel’s daughter with her as she is better able to take care of her. She agreed and is happy to care for her granddaughter, a student at a Central secondary school.
Raquel’s funeral is set for 9 am today at her Chrissy Terrace home in Enterprise and she will be cremated at the Waterloo Cremation Site. Madoo said she is trying to be strong for her grand-daughter.
“It is so sad that my own daughter suffered so much and now she is dead. It is so hard but I am trying to cope. I am a sickly person I have heart problems and Raquel was my right hand, so I will miss her a lot,” the grieving mother said yesterday. She said whenever her daughter came to her home, she was accused of going to meet a man.
Madoo, who was once in an abusive relationship, explained because of the domestic violence in her own home, her daughters left home at a young age to fend for themselves. Raquel was 16 when she and the man began a relationship.
Children’s Authority chairman Hanif Benjamin yesterday said the publication of Raquel’s story has already triggered an investigation to ensure the her daughter is safe.
“Once we believe that there is need for care and protection , our investigative team will go out to begin investigations to determine whether the child is in need of care and protection. Is the child safe, does she need medical attention?”
He said counselling is also provided following an assessment. “I believe the child should receive counselling. A list of mechanisms are activated but we have to go with our remit, once we have determined there is need for care.”
He explained there are two assessment centres, one at San Fernando General Hospital the other at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope. Apart from the Children’s Authority, Benjamin said there are other groups which provide counselling such as the Police Service’s Victim & Witness Support Unit and the Students Support Services at schools.
Meanwhile Chief of Defence Staff Commodore Hayden Pritchard has mandated a senior army officer to probe allegations of misconduct against the soldier. The action was taken after reports surfaced about the soldier committing acts of domestic violence against Raquel.
Sunday Newsday learnt that Pritchard has already received an interim report and it was discovered that Raquel never made a report of abuse to any member of the Defence Force.
It was also discovered that Raquel never had a protection order against the soldier.
Central Division police yesterday said they were unsuccessful in finding the soldier to question him about the claim that he breached the protection order. They will seek the Defence Force’s help to get the solider to make himself available for an interview.
by Nalinee Seelal