Woman found alive at sea 2 years after escaping husband who beat her during pregnancy and tried to kill her
Angelica Gaitan told local media that she tried to kill herself by jumping in the sea after suffering domestic abuse for 20 years
A woman who lost contact with her family for around two years has been found alive floating in the sea. Angelica Gaitan's family had no information about her until she was found alive off the coast of Colombia in Atlantico on 26 September.
The 46-year-old mother was enfeebled when she was found by fisherman Rolando Visbal and his friend identified only as ‘Gustavo'. She also had signs of hypothermia after being in the water for eight hours, The Daily Mail reported. Gaitan later told local media that she tried to kill herself by jumping in the sea after suffering domestic abuse for 20 years by her ex-husband, who also did not let her contact her friends and family for years.
As reported by The Daily Mail, local news site La Libertad stated that Visbal and the friend initially thought they saw a log in the sea, but after getting closer, they realized that it was a woman requesting help. They then helped Gaitan to get into their boat. She was almost unresponsive when the men approached her. A video of the rescue operation reportedly showed the fishermen pulling the woman towards the boat through a rope tied to a lifesaver. The lifesaver was earlier thrown towards her by the men, reports stated. After getting her into the boat, the rescuers also attempted to talk to Gaitan and gave her water, but she started crying.
The victim was then taken to a hospital where she arrived in a shocked state. After feeling safe, Gaitan said she felt guilty of her decision to jump into the sea and kill herself. “I was born again, thank God. If I had had an opportunity or some help, I would not make that decision. Now I am very grateful because God gave me a new opportunity to move forward,” she said. She added that her former spouse was abusive and “violently beat” her even during her two pregnancies. “The abuse began in the first pregnancy, he beat me, he violently abused me. In the second pregnancy, the abuse continued and I could not get away from him because the girls were small. Many times I reported him but the police took him for 24 hours and when he was in the house again, the assaults returned,” Gaitan told RCNRadio.
Speaking with DiarioLaLibertad for a different interview, the woman said her ex-husband locked her up inside their shared house, where she was not able to use the bathroom and had to use the garden as a lavatory. Gaitan told RCNRadio that her former partner “violated” her for years, broke her face and also attempted to kill her two years ago following which, she fled and roamed around the streets for six months, before going to a woman's shelter — Camino de Fe rescue centre.
But her sufferings did not end there as she faced bullies who mistreated her. She also said that just before her attempt to kill herself, the police asked her to leave the center since her former husband had moved states. With no place to go, Gaitan said she “did not want to continue with my life.” “A lady lent me for the tickets and I took a bus directly to the sea. I wanted to end everything, I had no help from anyone, not even from my family, because this man kept me away from my social circle, that's why I didn't want to continue living,” she told RCN.
Meanwhile, Gaitan’s daughter Alejandra Castiblanco claimed those reports fake that stated that her mother was suicidal over a broken relationship. Castiblanco and her sister are now raising funds to take the woman to Bogota and hope she will be “taken care of by family”.