11 November 2018 | Two high profile Adventist leaders have urged women in Jamaica to leave abusive partners.

The appeals took place at the funeral of 43-year-old Dionne Smith and her 16-year-old daughter, Jay-Shenel Gordon. The two were killed this September by Smith’s common-law husband, Fabian Lyewsang. The man stabbed Smith to death and then killed her daughter by slitting her throat before committing suicide by driving a car into a river.

Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (WJC), and Pastor Joel Haye, pastor of the Northern Caribbean University Church, spoke to those present at the event at Farm Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church in Farm Heights, St James.

Samuels used a story from his own family as a cautionary tale in discussing the need to choose partners carefully.

“I was a teenager when my aunt was stabbed 13 times by the man she claimed to be in love with, and I never did like him because he came to the family and we didn’t know anything about him. Choose well your companions, and know that there comes a time when some things and some people must be left behind,” said Samuels.

For his part, Haye urged women not to try to change partners but to instead trust their intuition when circumstances suggested it was time to leave a relationship.

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