A prospective candidate for the main opposition New Democratic Party on Thursday said he is happy that his girlfriend has made public his abuse of her, saying it is an opportunity for him to grow and become a better person.
DJ and radio personality Colin “Hitman” Graham, asked that no one abuse or vilify his girlfriend, Iyah Jacobs, who made the issue public on Wednesday in a Facebook post that she quickly deleted.
Graham said he and Jacobs have both apologised to each other and again used his radio appearance to apologise to his lover.
The development comes in a week that the NDP announced that Graham has passed the first stage of the candidate selection process in East St. George, which could see him running against Minister of Economic Development, Camillo Gonsalves, son of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.
“… I want to just start by saying that I applaud her for her courage for coming out and highlighting the issue of domestic abuse and violence,” Graham said in an interview on Thursday on Hot 97 FM, where he is an announcer.
“It is an issue that definitely needs to be addressed and I applaud her for her courage and for taking such a brave and bold step in coming out and addressing the issue and I want nobody, absolutely nobody to vilify her, to abuse her on social media, to chastise her, to condemn her. More than anything, we should lift her up and praise her for coming out and doing what she did,” Graham said.
In her post, Jacobs, a student nurse, said it has been three to four years since she met/dated Graham, who she identified as “the newly elected candidate for ESG, representing the new democratic party, SVG”.
She said that the first year of the relationship was “good” but from year two onward was “not so good”.
“I’ve been a victim of Holistic domestic abuse and yes I have medical and police record as evidence. But how? Why haven’t you left? You sure must’ve loved it they might say! On the outside looking in, STUPID is a perfect word for victims like me. I said it too when I looked on at what my mother allowed.
“I’m not in denial that I wasn’t a handful, I’m not in denial that I’ve said and done things to trigger such a response but I’ve grown and realized that in no way is domestic abuse acceptable! If I’m too much to handle, leave me at Jesus feet.”
It is not clear if that is where the post ended, but that was all was captured by a screen capture of the post that Hot 97 shared on its Facebook page.
Jacobs made the post a week after she and Graham has spent time together on Bequia, a northern Grenadines island, but did not say if the abuse had stopped.
On Thursday, she told iWitness news that she prefers not to talk about the post.
“can you please put in your post that I SAID this entire country is like Rome? the end is sure near. this nation like my soul needs prayer especially 2kool chris,” Jacobs told iWitness News via Facebook Messenger, but declined to elaborate, saying, “No further comment”
In his radio interview, Graham said he was not there “to deny anything or defend anything.
“We are all human beings and I am a man. We all make our mistakes and we all fall short from time to time and we have our shortcomings. We have both made our apologies to one another on a personal level but I take the opportunity here again now to apologise and to say sorry and to ask her for her continued forgiveness.”
Graham said the issue is clearly one that needed to be highlighted and is being highlighted now.
“And, like I say, I am proud of her courage for coming out,” he said, adding that there are other instances of domestic abuse and violence against women that continue to fester in the county.
“And I want persons out there now to use this present situation and this issue now of myself and Iyah Jacobs as a way and a means and a platform for other women out there to come out… and speak out against it and for persons who are in — because now I can say I am in it, I know what it is, I know what it is like, I know the damage and the hurt and the pain it can cause. And like I said, I make my apologies,” said Graham, a 39-year-old divorcee, who was on the receiving end of physical abuse in a previous relationship.
“We have to own up to our shortcomings and I have done that. She knows that and I will continue to grow as a human being, accept my wrongs, take my criticism where need be. And if I am coming forward as the next possible representative for East St. George, I have to be the person that I have always been and continue to be but I am glad for all of this now because it has now given me the opportunity to come out of me being myself and now grow and becoming a better person and a greater person.
“Again, I want to apologise to Iyah. I’m so sorry. We’ve done that privately already. I am not going to elaborate on our relationship. I am not going to continue to fuel this because there is clearly other bigger issues in the country that need to be addressed and should be addressed and domestic abuse and violence against women is definitely one,” Graham said, and reiterated that Jacobs should be applauded “for her bravery in coming forward and doing this”.