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  • Writer's pictureInterval House of Ottawa

"We're reaching crisis levels at this point"; Femicides in the Ottawa community skyrocket

Sahur Yare. Marie Gabriel. Kieu Lam. Jasmine and Anne-Marie Ready. Yu Kun Xie. Savanna Pikuyak. Jane Doe. Mary Paptsie. Eight women in the Ottawa community have been taken by femicide since the start of 2022, and Mary Papatsie's murder in 2015 has just been confirmed. This is a 400% increase since 2021 with the loss of Linda Frederick and Hanadi Mohammed. Femicide is on the rise in our community.

"We are reaching crisis levels at this point," says Executive Director at Interval House of Ottawa, Keri Lewis. "We need a systems level response to GBV. Women’s shelters and advocates cannot solve this problem on our own. We need every member of society to be part of the solution."

Femicide, the killing of a woman or girl on account of her gender, has recently come to the forefront of the public eye with the release of the 86 jury recommendations from the Inquest into the deaths of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk, and Nathalie Warmerdam back in September 2015 in Renfrew County. One of these recommendations is to add the term "femicide" into the Criminal Code to differentiate between a homicide and the intentional killing of a woman or girl based on her gender.

A resounding message throughout the report is that intimate partner violence is an epidemic and should be formally declared as such. We see this epidemic reflected right here in our own community with the drastic increase in murders of women and girls.

IHO wholeheartedly endorses the jury recommendations from the Inquest and calls on all levels of our government to fulfill each so that folks in our communities are safe and can live without fear of being harmed or killed.

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