The headline, in various ways citing “Teen dies after being struck to head by father”, dominated Guyana’s media last week.Just previous to that, a young woman was charged and remanded for stabbing her younger brother to death shortly after wounding her mother.A few days ago, a woman was reported to have stabbed herself during an altercation with her husband.There is seemingly no end in sight for these tragic occurrences, which are resultant upon emotional reactions to daily stresses. It is unlikely that these incidents occur as one-off episodes; but, rather an isolated event, may trigger off a fracas generated from cumulative stresses combining many factors.It is hardly likely that, in the normal course of things, a sister or father may want to kill a brother or a son. It takes great angst for a woman to drum up the courage to stab her own self.According to news reports, an argument between a father and son escalated to such an acrimonious level that 18-year-old Azeez Khan of Lot 8 Better Hope, East Coast Demerara (ECD) was struck to the head by his father with a piece of wood. He died while receiving medical attention.Allegedly, Azeez and his father, 40-year-old Omar Khan of the same address, were arguing over Azeez’s remonstrance to his sister because he objected to what the former considered inappropriate attire worn by a female member of his family. Apparently Omar objected to Azeez remonstrating with his daughter, and this ensued in a heated confrontation between father and son, at the height of which Omar is reported to have picked up a wood with which he lashed Azeez to his head, felling him to the ground. The young man subsequently succumbed to this one fatal blow.This one tragic occurrence has left a sister and daughter mourning a brother and a father, because, in effect, she has just lost both.Imagine the guilt she would be burdened with all her life, because she most likely would blame herself for the melee that precipitated such a tragic eventuality.The violent episodes that have led to murder have always devastated lives across the spectrum of relationships, yet these occurrences seem to be escalating in societies across the globe.When passions have cooled and the consequences of violent reactions to situations impact on the consciousness of perpetrators, the reality of the suffering they have caused to loved ones — making them also victims — may be a harsher punishment than whatever punitive measures the law may impose on them.These disturbances that eventuate into murderous melees are often caused by impaired senses, due to over-the-limit consumption of alcohol or usage of illicit and addictive drugs; or even as a consequence of uncontrollable anger due to a multiplicity of personal and societal stressors.Life in the olden days was much harder than what obtains today, with housewives having access to no labour-saving devices, children having no gizmos and gadgets, and fathers having no electrical or electronic appliances to make life an easy proposition; yet, the reactions to provocation were hardly ever violent, because — especially in rural communities — everyone looked out for his neighbour, and situations were never allowed to escalate to unmanageable proportions, because the entire neighbourhood would intervene and bring an end to the fracas almost immediately.Sadly today, Guyanese, once known for their caring and sharing within communities, have seemingly become inhuman to the point of enjoying the spectacle of violent confrontations between protagonists, filming rather than parting fights between children, and even creating and propagating the frictions that eventuate in tragic outcomes.