Transcript: Fighting Femicide in Ontario | Feb 11, 2019

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a green blazer over a black shirt.

A caption on screen reads "Fighting femicide in Ontario. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says "CALLITFEMICIDE" IS THE
TITLE OF A NEW REPORT THAT
OFFERS A CHILLING PICTURE OF
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN THIS
COUNTRY.
IT WAS ISSUED BY THE CANADIAN
FEMICIDE OBSERVATORY FOR JUSTICE
AND ACCOUNTABILITY, A RESEARCH
CENTRE BASED AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF GUELPH THAT'S TAKEN UP THE
CALL FROM THE UNITED NATIONS TO
DOCUMENT THE STATE OF
GENDER-BASED KILLINGS.
AND ITS FINDINGS FOR CANADA ARE
SHOCKING.
JOINING US NOW FOR MORE, IN
BEACHBURG, ONTARIO, VIA SKYPE:
JOANNE BROOKS, CENTRE DIRECTOR
OF THE WOMEN'S SEXUAL ASSAULT
CENTRE OF RENFREW COUNTY...

Joanne is in her sixties, with short gray hair. She's wearing glasses and a purple turtleneck. She sits in a living room, with a display cabinet in the background.

Nam continues IN
PETERBOROUGH, VIA SKYPE: DAWN
LAVELL-HARVARD, PRESIDENT OF THE
ONTARIO NATIVE WOMEN'S
ASSOCIATION AND THE DIRECTOR OF
THE FIRST PEOPLE'S HOUSE OF
LEARNING AT TRENT UNIVERSITY...

Dawn is in her late forties, with long wavy chestnut hair and bangs. She's wearing a black blazer and a silver necklace. She sits in a living room, with a bookshelf in the background.

Nam continues AND IN OUR STUDIO, FARRAH KHAN,
MANAGER, CONSENT COMES FIRST,
SEXUAL VIOLENCE SUPPORT AND
EDUCATION AT RYERSON UNIVERSITY,
AND SHE'S ALSO A MEMBER OF THE
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA'S FEDERAL
STRATEGY AGAINST GENDER-BASED
VIOLENCE ADVISORY COUNCIL...

Farrah is in her thirties, with long straight chestnut hair. She's wearing a light gray blazer over a black shirt.

Nam continues AND SAMRA ZAFAR, HUMAN RIGHTS
ACTIVIST, AND THE AUTHOR OF THE
FORTHCOMING BOOK "A GOOD WIFE."

Samra is in her forties, with long reddish-brown hair. She's wearing a bright red blazer.
A picture of her book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of Samra bowing in traditional wedding attire, as a man stands behind her.

Nam continues WELCOME.
WELCOME TO YOU ALL IN STUDIO AND
ALSO TO JOANNE AND DAWN.
HI.
BEFORE WE START THE
CONVERSATION, I THINK, DAWN, I
WANT TO GET AN UNDERSTANDING, A
DEFINITION OF WHAT FEMICIDE IS.

The caption changes to "Dawn Lavell-Harvard. Ontario Native Women's Association."
Then, it changes again to "Fighting femicide in Ontario."

Dawn says SO WORKING WITHIN THE
OBSERVATORY, THE DEFINITION...
NOW THERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF
VARIATION INTERNATIONALLY, BUT
FUNDAMENTALLY IT'S ABOUT THE
KILLING OF WOMEN BASED ON
GENDER.
THE KILLING OF WOMEN BECAUSE
THEY'RE WOMEN.
SO WE'RE TALKING ABOUT INTIMATE
PARTNER VIOLENCE.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE, FAMILY VIOLENCE,
MISOGYNY, TYPICALLY SEXUAL
VIOLENCE.
SO IT'S THE MOST EXTREME VERSION
OF THAT SPECTRUM THAT BEGINS
WITH THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
AND ENDS, UNFORTUNATELY, WITH
FEMICIDE.
TYPICALLY PERPETRATED BY MALES,
BUT THERE ARE SOME LESSER
INSTANCES OF WOMEN WHO ARE
KILLING OTHER WOMEN IN THE NAME
OF HONOUR KILLING AND THINGS
LIKE THAT.

The caption changes to "Understanding a preventable problem."

Nam says AND I SHOULD SAY, DAWN,
YOU WERE A PART OF A PANEL OF
EXPERTS THAT WORKED ON THAT
REPORT.
JOANNE, DID YOU WANT TO ADD
ANYTHING TO THAT DEFINITION OF
WHAT FEMICIDE IS?

Joanne says I THINK THAT WAS REALLY
COMPREHENSIVE, AND I THINK THAT
THAT REALLY COVERS THE WHOLE
SPECTRUM FOR ME.

Nam says FARRAH AND SAMRA, WOULD
YOU LIKE TO ADD ANYTHING TO THAT?

The caption changes to "Farrah Khan. Ryerson University."

Farrah says I THINK THE PART THAT REALLY
IS UPSETTING ABOUT FEMICIDE OR
THAT WE'RE SEEING THE
CONVERSATION IS WE'RE NAMING IT
INSTEAD OF JUST CALLING IT
MURDER, RIGHT?
BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE
OFTENTIMES WILL JUST CALL IT
MURDER, AND WE'RE ASKING WITH
THIS REPORT AND A LOT OF
ORGANIZATIONS ARE SAYING CALL IT
FEMICIDE, RECOGNIZE THE GENDERED
IMPLICATIONS OF IT AND WHY
PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING TO MURDER,
POLICE AND PERSECUTE WOMEN.

Nam says ONE OF THE... ON
SIGNIFICANCE IN CANADA?

The caption changes to "Farrah Khan, @farrahsafiakhan."

Farrah says WELL, IT'S BEEN... FOR A LONG
TIME, AND THERE'S OTHER FEMICIDE
REPORTS THAT EXIST.
THIS IS THE FIRST ONE THAT'S A
NATIONAL ONE.
WE HAVE ONE IN ONTARIO THAT'S
DONE BY DR. MAVIS MORTON FROM
THE GUELPH UNIVERSITY WITH THE
ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF... AND
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING.
AND THEY PUT OUT ONE... ONTARIO
FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, AND IT'S
BEEN DOCUMENTING THE WAYS IN
WHICH WOMEN ARE MURDERED.
THERE'S ALSO THE DEATH REVIEW
COMMITTEE OF ONTARIO, WHICH
SOUNDS VERY OMINOUS, IT IS, AND
IT ACTUALLY LOOKS AT HOW THESE
MURDERS OF WOMEN, THESE
FEMICIDES, ARE PREDICTABLE AND
PREVENTABLE.
AND IT'S IMPORTANT TO NAME THAT
PIECE TOO, THAT FEMICIDE IS
USUALLY PREDICTABLE AND
PREVENTABLE.
IT'S USUALLY CONNECTED TO
INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE.

Nam says PREDICTABLE AND PREVENTABLE,
I WANT TO GO MORE INTO THAT.
WHEN THIS REPORT CAME OUT, WERE
YOU SURPRISED BY THIS NUMBER?

Farrah says NO.
AND I THINK MANY OF US IN THE
MOVEMENT WHO SEE A NEWSPAPER
ARTICLE COME OUT THAT DOESN'T
SPECIFICALLY SAY FEMICIDE, WE GO
TO THE DETAILS, SHE WAS JUST
ABOUT TO LEAVE HIM OR THEY WERE
IN CONSISTENT FIGHTS OR THERE
WAS A HISTORY OF ISOLATION AND
FINANCIAL ABUSE.
SO WHEN WE SEE THAT, WE NOTICE
IT.
SO MANY OF US IN THE MOVEMENT
HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT FOR A VERY
LONG TIME, THAT OUR GOVERNMENTS
NEED TO TAKE LARGER ACTION AND
URGENT ACTION ON THESE ISSUES.

Nam says WE WANT TO GET INTO MORE
ON THAT, BUT FIRST LET'S TAKE A
LOOK AT WHAT CAME OUT IN THE
REPORT.
AND THIS REPORT, CALLITFEMICIDE,
FOCUSED ON 2018 DEATHS REPORTED
BY THE MEDIA, AND IT CONCLUDED...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Femicide facts. 2018."

Nam reads data from the slate and says
A WOMAN OR GIRL IS KILLED EVERY
2.5 DAYS IN CANADA, AT LEAST 148
WOMEN AND GIRLS' LIVES WERE
ENDED BY VIOLENCE, AND HERE IN
ONTARIO 65 OF THOSE MURDERS WERE
IN ONTARIO.
I WANTED TO START WITH YOU,
SAMRA, BUT I WANT TO ASK THIS
QUESTION TO ALL OF YOU.
IF YOU WERE TO PICK ONE SOCIETAL
FACTOR THAT YOU THINK IS LARGELY
CONTRIBUTING TO THESE NUMBERS,
WHAT WOULD IT BE?

The caption changes to "Samra Zafar. University of Toronto."

Samra says I ALWAYS SAY THAT THE BIGGEST
FACTOR IS FEAR OF ISOLATION, AND
IN ALL MY WORK AS A SPEAKER AND
AS AN ACTIVIST, I GET HUNDREDS
IF NOT THOUSANDS OF MESSAGES
FROM WOMEN, NOT JUST IN CANADA
BUT ALL OVER THE WORLD, WHO ARE
IMPACTED BY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE, AND THE
FEAR OF ISOLATION AND REJECTION
AND SHAME AND STIGMA...

Nam says LIKE ISOLATION FROM YOUR
FRIENDS AND FAMILY?

Samra says YES, EXACTLY.
IF I LEAVE, I WILL BE REJECTED.
IF I LEAVE, I WILL BE SHUNNED BY
SOCIETY.
I WILL BE SHAMED.
I WILL BE ISOLATED.
AND SO AT FIRST IT'S ISOLATION
THAT OCCURS WITHIN THE
RELATIONSHIP.
LIKE EVERYONE MENTIONED, IT'S A
SPECTRUM.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING, YOU KNOW,
IT'S NOT A SLAP AND A KICK THAT
HAPPENS THE NEXT DAY.
IT USUALLY LEADS UP FROM VERBAL,
EMOTIONAL, FINANCIAL ABUSE.
AND A LOT OF IT IS PROPAGATED BY
THE ISOLATION THAT'S CREATED BY
THE ABUSER SO THE WOMAN'S
ALREADY FEELING, YOU KNOW,
PRETTY ALONE.
AND THEN THERE'S ANOTHER FEAR OF
ISOLATION NOW IF I LEAVE, IF I
LOSE THIS PERSON AS WELL THEN
I'M GOING TO BE ALL ALONE, AND
THAT IS WHAT KEEPS WOMEN GOING
BACK AND FORTH.
AND YOU KNOW, ON AVERAGE A WOMAN
WOULD LEAVE SIX OR SEVEN TIMES
BEFORE SHE FINALLY LEAVES, AND
IN MY OWN STORY I LEFT ABOUT
FIVE TIMES BEFORE I FINALLY LEFT
BECAUSE OF THAT FEAR, LIKE WHERE
AM I GOING TO GO FROM HERE?

Nam says I WANT TO TALK TO YOU
MORE ABOUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL
STORY, BUT I WANT TO ASK THE
SAME QUESTION TO YOU, DAWN.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THESE NUMBERS,
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS ONE OF THE
SOCIETAL FACTORS THAT'S
CONTRIBUTING TO SO MANY WOMEN
BEING MURDERED BY SOMEBODY THAT
THEY KNOW?

Dawn says SO I THINK FUNDAMENTALLY THIS
IS ABOUT PATRIARCHY.
THIS IS ABOUT THE NOTION THAT
WOMEN ARE PROPERTY, THAT WOMEN
SHOULD REMAIN IN THEIR PLACE,
THAT THEY NEED TO BE RESPECTFUL
TO THEIR MAN.

Nam says NOT TO CUT YOU OFF, BUT
SOMEBODY MIGHT HEAR THAT AND
THINK THIS IS 2019, HOW IS THAT
STILL HAPPENING IN 2019?
ISN'T THAT SOMETHING A HUNDRED
YEARS AGO?

Dawn says WE WOULD LIKE TO SAY SO, BUT
WE ARE STILL LIVING WITH THAT
LEGACY OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF
MEN THINKING WOMEN NEED TO BE
KEPT IN THEIR PLACE, THAT THEY
MUST BE SUBSERVIENT, AND YOU
WOULD BE SHOCKED AT ACTUALLY
JUST HOW RAMPANT THAT IS STILL
IN SOCIETY.
BUT WHEN YOU CONNECT THAT THEN
WITH THE INEQUALITY, THE
ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY OF WOMEN
WHERE, AS WAS JUST MENTIONED, IF
THEY DON'T HAVE EQUAL PAY, IF
THEY DON'T HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO
FINANCIAL RESOURCES,
UNFORTUNATELY THAT'S HOW WOMEN
ARE VERY VULNERABLE AND CAN'T
LEAVE.
THAT'S HOW MEN KEEP CONTROL, AND
THEN WHEN THEY START TO LOSE
CONTROL, THAT'S WHEN THE
ULTIMATE FORM OF VIOLENCE
HAPPENS, WHICH IS THE FEMICIDE.
AS WE'VE SEEN, VERY OFTEN IT'S
PRECISELY THAT MOMENT WHEN THE
WOMAN HAS THE COURAGE TO LEAVE
THAT THIS HAPPENS.

Nam says AND JOANNE, YOU LIVE IN
A RURAL AREA.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS A SOCIETAL
FACTOR THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO
THESE NUMBERS?

The caption changes to "Joanne Brooks. Women's sexual assault centre for Renfrew County."

A map of Ontario pops up, highlighting the location of Beachburg.

Joanne says WHAT I HEAR FROM WOMEN OVER
THE PAST 26 YEARS IS HERE IN OUR
AREA IT'S EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO
LEAVE BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS
EVERYONE ELSE, AND EVERYONE IS
RELATED TO EVERYONE ELSE IN OUR
AREA.
AND SO KINSHIP TIES ARE VERY
IMPORTANT, AND THE MESSAGES
ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AS A WOMAN,
THE BED THAT YOU'VE MADE, AND
THEN YOU'RE GOING TO LIE IN IT
FOREVER IS JUST SO STRINGENTLY
ADHERED TO HERE IN THIS CULTURE,
AND NOT JUST HERE, BUT IN RURAL
CANADA FOR SURE.
THAT BECOMES A HUGE ISSUE.
WOMEN ARE TORN.
THEY WANT TO BE SAFE.
THEY DON'T FEEL SAFE, BUT WHERE
DO THEY GO?
AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT DAWN WAS
TALKING ABOUT AS WELL.
AND THE ECONOMIC POVERTY, THE
MEDIAN INCOME FOR WOMEN HERE IN
RENFREW COUNTY IS ABOUT 25,000 dollars,
AND WE HAVE VERY POOR HOUSING
CONDITIONS, NO PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION.
SO HOW DO WOMEN LEAVE?
WHERE DO WOMEN GO?
EXACTLY THOSE SAME MESSAGES
HERE.

Nam says SO IT SOUNDS LIKE
FEMICIDE IS NOT... WHEN WE SPEAK
ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, IT'S
MAYBE NOT JUST THE PHYSICAL
ASPECT OF IT BUT IT'S THE
EMOTIONAL, THE ECONOMIC ABUSE,
AS HAS BEEN MENTIONED.
FARRAH, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS
SOMETHING ELSE CONTRIBUTING TO
THESE NUMBERS?

Farrah says I THINK IT'S ALSO THE WAY THE
PUBLIC REACTS WHEN A SURVIVOR
HEARS STORIES IN THE MEDIA ABOUT
A WOMAN AND THE COMMUNITY AROUND
THEM SHAMES AND BLAMES THAT
WOMAN FOR BEING IN THAT
RELATIONSHIP OR SHAMES AND
BLAMES WOMEN FOR TAKING ON
SOCIAL ASSISTANCE OR USING
PUBLIC HOUSING OR REQUESTING
SERVICES.
WE OFTENTIMES DO.
WE BLAME THE VICTIM.
AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, IT TELLS
OTHER PEOPLE AROUND THEM THAT
THEY SHOULDN'T REACH OUT, THAT
THEY CAN'T TRUST YOU WITH THEIR
STORY.
SO WE ALSO THINK IT BETTER AS A
SOCIETY TO RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS
OF ABUSE, TO SUPPORT OUR FRIENDS
WHEN THEY DISCLOSE, AND ALSO
RECOGNIZE THAT SURVIVORS ARE
ALWAYS IN THE ROOM.
SOMETIMES WE FORGET THAT.
AND I THINK ANOTHER PIECE,
ANOTHER FACTOR OF IT IS THAT WE
DON'T RECOGNIZE THIS IN POLICY.
AND SO WHEN WE SEE PUBLIC POLICY
THAT CUTS SOCIAL ASSISTANCE,
WHEN WE SEE PUBLIC POLICY THAT
DOESN'T INVEST IN CHILD CARE OR
ACTUALLY MAKING SURE THAT WOMEN
WILL BE ABLE TO LEAVE BECAUSE
THEY FINANCIALLY CANNOT.

Nam says WE'LL GET MORE INTO THE
POLICY AS WELL.
BUT I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT SOME
OF THE WOMEN WHO... IN ONTARIO
WHO WERE MURDERED THIS PAST YEAR.

A collage picture appears showing the faces of 26 women of different ages, plus two empty profile silhouettes. Then another collage shows the faces of another 24 women and 4 empty profiles.

Nam continues THERE WERE MORE THAN FIVE DOZEN
WOMEN THAT WERE KILLED IN OUR
PROVINCE LAST YEAR, AND THE
PICTURES YOU SEE ON THE SCREEN
RIGHT NOW INCLUDE WOMEN OF ALL
BACKGROUNDS, AGES, ETHNICITIES.
BUT, JOANNE, AS THE RESEARCH
SHOWS, EVEN AS DIFFERENT AS THE
WOMEN LOOK, THERE ARE THINGS
THAT THEY HAVE IN COMMON, AND
WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS THAT THEY
HAVE IN COMMON THAT PUT THEM AT
A HIGH RISK OF FEMICIDE?

Joanne says WELL, I THINK IT GOES BACK TO
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT FARRAH
SAYS IN THAT THERE'S A LOT OF
SOCIETAL PERMISSION AND SHAMING
AND BLAMING OF VICTIMS.
SO I THINK THOSE ARE VERY COMMON
ISSUES.
WOMEN HAVE MESSAGES FROM AROUND
THEM THAT INDEED YOU HAVE MADE
THIS CHOICE AND THEN YOU'RE
GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE YOUR WAY
OUT OF IT.
I KNOW FOR US HERE THAT IS
REALLY ONE OF THE COMMON THINGS.
THERE'S A LOT OF FEAR AS WELL.
I KNOW THAT AFTER THE THREE
WOMEN WERE MURDERED HERE IN
RENFREW COUNTY ON SEPTEMBER 22,
2015, WE HEARD FROM A LOT OF
WOMEN WHO SAID THAT THEIR
PARTNERS WERE TELLING THEM THAT
IF THEY CHOSE TO SPEAK OUT OR
EVEN TRY TO LEAVE THAT THEY
WOULD PULL A MURDER LIKE THOSE
OF THE WOMEN.
SO THERE'S A LOT OF FEAR BECAUSE
OF THE PERPETRATORS' MESSAGES TO
THEM, AND AGAIN, WHEN YOU CUT
SOCIAL PROGRAMS, WHEN YOU CUT
PANELS ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
THAT ARE EXPERTS, THAT CAN
INFORM GOVERNMENT AND CAN INFORM
THE WORLD, BASICALLY, THAT
REALLY PUTS WOMEN AT RISK FOR
VIOLENCE.

Nam says UMM, YOU BROUGHT UP WHAT
HAPPENED IN RENFREW COUNTY IN
2015.
I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT
LATER, BUT I'LL JUST TALK ABOUT
IT NOW.
I WAS READING AN ARTICLE THAT
SAID THAT NATALIE, ONE OF THE
VICTIMS, THAT SHE ACTUALLY
RENTED A PANIC BUTTON AND SHE
WORE A PANIC BUTTON BECAUSE SHE
WAS THAT AFRAID OF THE MAN WHO
ENDED UP KILLING HER.
BUT HE WAS WALKING AROUND,
UNSUPERVISED, NOT MONITORED, BUT
WHEN YOU LOOKED AT HIS
BACKGROUND, HE HAD A LOT OF
CRIMINAL CHARGES.
SO WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE
SYSTEM THEN?
IF SHE'S WEARING A PANIC BUTTON
TO PROTECT HERSELF FROM HIM, BUT
HE'S WALKING FREELY WITHOUT
BEING MONITORED, EVEN THOUGH HE
HAS DONE THESE THINGS IN THE PAST?

Joanne says RIGHT, AND I THINK THERE'S
TWO THINGS THERE.
ONE OF THE THINGS HERE IS THAT
MOST PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED BY
POPULATION NOT BY GEOGRAPHY.
SO IN OUR VAST LAND MASS,
SOMEONE COULD WEAR A PANIC
BUTTON, BUT IN REALITY IT COULD
TAKE POLICE MORE THAN AN HOUR TO
REACH THEM IF THEY NEEDED HELP.

Nam says IF YOU LIVE IN A RURAL AREA?

Joanne says PARDON ME?

Nam says IF YOU LIVE IN A RURAL AREA?

The caption changes to "Unique community challenges."

Joanne says YES, AND OUR WHOLE AREA
REALLY IS RURAL, SO THAT'S A BIG
CHALLENGE.
OUR PROGRAMS ARE UNDERFUNDED,
AND SO WE DON'T HAVE THE
RESOURCES NECESSARY TO BE AS
SUPPORTIVE OF WOMEN AS WE WOULD
LIKE TO BE.
SO THAT'S AN ISSUE.
I ALSO... MY UNDERSTANDING FROM
THAT PARTICULAR CASE WAS THAT
BURETSKI HAD MET THE THRESHOLD
OF ALL OF THE CHARGES.
SOMETIMES CHARGES WERE
WITHDRAWN, FOR LOTS OF REASONS,
PERHAPS THE BIGGEST ONE WAS
FEAR.
SO HIS CHARGES WERE NEVER AT A
FEDERAL LEVEL.
THAT'S MY UNDERSTANDING.
SO THE FACT THAT HE WASN'T
MONITORED WASN'T AN ISSUE FROM
THE LAW.
SO THAT HAS BEEN SOMETHING THAT
HAS BEEN MARKED... THAT'S WHAT
NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.
THAT'S WHAT NEEDS TO BE
IDENTIFIED AND NEEDS TO BE
CHANGED.

Nam says WE'RE LOOKING AT THE
REPORT, THE CALLITFEMICIDE
REPORT.
ONE OF THE TRENDS THAT IT
IDENTIFIED IS THAT WHERE THE
CRIMES ARE TAKING PLACE IS
SIGNIFICANT.
WHILE 59 percent OF THE FEMICIDE
VICTIMS LIVED IN URBAN AREAS,
IT'S THE RURAL DEMOGRAPHIC
THAT'S OVERREPRESENTED.
RURAL VICTIMS MADE UP 34 percent OF THE
WOMEN WHO WERE KILLED, YET ONLY
16 percent OF THE POPULATION LIVES IN
RURAL AREAS.
SO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO, I
GUESS, ADDRESS THAT DISCREPANCY?

Joanne says WE'VE HAD OPPORTUNITY TO DO A
LOT OF FOCUS GROUPS WITH WOMEN
MORE RECENTLY SINCE THE MURDERS,
JUST TO ASK: WHAT IS IT THAT
WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS
COMMUNITY?
AND TWO THINGS THAT CAME FORWARD
WERE PUBLIC EDUCATION, PUBLIC
EDUCATION, PUBLIC EDUCATION, TO
GET OUT TO SCHOOLS, TO GET OUT
TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
TEACHERS TO JUST EDUCATE THE
PUBLIC ABOUT WHAT IS VIOLENCE
AGAINST WOMEN AND HOW AS
BYSTANDERS WE CAN INTERVENE.
BECAUSE THE MINUTE THAT VIOLENCE
AGAINST WOMEN IS TAKEN AWAY FROM
THE SOCIAL CONSCIENCE, IT'S WELL
FORGOTTEN, SO THAT'S ONE OF THE
HUGE PIECES THAT WOMEN HAVE
SAID.
THE OTHER THING IS THAT THEY
WANTED MORE SERVICES FOR THEM,
THAT THEY CAN COME IN PRIVACY
AND CONFIDENTIALITY TO SPEAK
ABOUT WHAT IT IS THAT THEY NEED
AND THEN TO MAKE PLANS TO HAVE A
BETTER LIFE FOR THEMSELVES,
HOWEVER THAT SHAPE LOOKS.
BUT WE JUST TRULY DON'T HAVE
THAT MANY RESOURCES HERE BASED,
AGAIN, ON POPULATION.

Nam says AND DAWN, WOULD YOU LIKE
TO ADD ANYTHING TO THAT?

The caption changes to "Dawn Lavell-Harvard. @_ONWA_."

Dawn says YEAH, ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, ONE
OF THE THINGS YOU WERE TALKING
ABOUT WAS THE PUBLIC EDUCATION
ASPECT, AND SIMPLY A LOT OF
PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND IS THAT
VERY OFTEN IT TAKES A WOMAN
SEVERAL TIMES... I KNOW
SOMEBODY'S MENTIONED SIX OR
SEVEN.
WE'VE SEEN VERY OFTEN 11 TO 17
TIMES BEFORE THE WOMAN WILL STAY
GONE.
WELL, WILL REMAIN AWAY FROM THE
PARTNER, FOR ALL KINDS OF
REASONS.
WE MENTIONED FINANCIAL, THERE'S
FAMILY GUILT, THERE'S PEOPLE
SAYING IF YOU HAVE HIM CHARGED
THEN THAT'S RUINING HIS LIFE AND
NOW HE CAN'T HELP PAY THE BILLS
AND NOW YOU AND THE CHILDREN ARE
OUT ON THE STREETS.
THESE THINGS HAVE SUCH LARGER
IMPACT, BUT THERE'S ALSO THE
PROBLEM OF COMMUNITY FATIGUE,
THAT WHETHER IT BE POLICE OR
WHETHER IT BE OTHER FAMILY
MEMBERS AND FRIENDS, IF THEY'VE
CALLED, THERE'S THIS ATTITUDE
OF, YOU KNOW, WE'VE ALREADY BEEN
TO THAT HOME FIVE, SIX, TEN
TIMES AND, YOU KNOW, SHE NEVER
PRESSES CHARGES OR SHE ALWAYS
GOES BACK.
SO AT A TIME WHEN THINGS ARE
ESCALATING AND POLICE OR FAMILY
AND FRIENDS SHOULD BE RESPONDING
MORE QUICKLY, THEY ARE ACTUALLY
TAKING IT LESS SERIOUSLY BECAUSE
OF THIS NOTION THAT, WELL, SHE
ALWAYS TAKES HIM BACK SO MAYBE
IT'S NOT THAT SERIOUS, OR IT'S
JUST RESPONSE FATIGUE.
SO AT A TIME WHEN THEY SHOULD BE
RESPONDING FASTER, THEY'RE
ACTUALLY NOT TAKING IT
SERIOUSLY, AND THAT'S WHEN THESE
KIND OF TRAGEDIES HAPPEN, WHEN
YOU ACTUALLY HAVE THE ACTUAL
FEMICIDE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Nam says WE HEAR THE NUMBERS, WE
HEAR... WE MIGHT SEE A FLASH OF
SOMEONE WHO'S BEEN KILLED BY
THEIR PARTNER, BUT I JUST WANTED
TO ASK YOU ONE MORE QUESTION,
JOANNE.
YOU KNOW, FOR THE COMMUNITY IN
RENFREW COUNTY, THESE ARE THREE
PEOPLE THAT WERE TAKEN FROM THE
COMMUNITY, THREE PEOPLE TAKEN
FROM THEIR FAMILIES.
WHAT HAS THE IMPACT BEEN LIKE TO
THAT COMMUNITY WITH THE LOSS OF
THEIR LIVES?

Joanne says UMM, MY SENSE IS THAT THE
COMMUNITY IS FOREVER CHANGED
BECAUSE HERE, WHILE WE ONLY HAVE
107,000 PEOPLE SPREAD OVER A
LAND MASS LARGER THAN PRINCE
EDWARD ISLAND, EVERYONE IS
CONNECTED SOMEHOW TO EVERYONE
ELSE.
SO THE LOSS OF NATALIE AND
ANSTASIA AND CAROL THAT MORNING
WILL HAVE IMPACT FOREVER, AND
ESPECIALLY WOMEN.

A screenshot from the CBC News website appears, with a headline that reads "Basil Borutski guilty of murdering 3 women in shocking killing rampage."

Joanne continues WOMEN AND GIRLS HAVE COME
FORWARD IN HUGE NUMBERS TO TALK
ABOUT THAT'S THEIR STORY, IT
COULD HAVE BEEN THEIR STORY,
THEY KNEW THOSE WOMEN.
SO I THINK THAT WE ARE FOREVER
CHANGED.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT SURPRISED
ME AFTER BEING AN ADVOCATE FOR
26 YEARS WAS THAT WE HELD VIGIL
AT THE COURTHOUSE EVERY TIME THE
ACCUSED MADE AN APPEARANCE.
WE WERE ASKED TO DO SO BY FAMILY
MEMBERS AND WE HELD SIGNS UP
ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN,
AND USUALLY IN OUR COMMUNITY MEN
ARE VIOLENT.
THEY DON'T PARTICIPATE OR
THERE'S A LOT OF JEERING AND
NEGATIVE COMMENTS.
HOWEVER, AFTER THE MURDERS OF
THE WOMEN, WE'VE NOTICED A LOT
MORE MEN ARE STEPPING UP TO
BECOME ALLIES, WHO WANT TO KNOW
HOW THEY CAN BE BETTER
BYSTANDERS.
SO THAT'S BEEN A SHIFT AND A
SURPRISE IN A GOOD WAY.

Nam says LET'S GO BACK TO THE
REPORT AGAIN, AND ANOTHER TREND
THAT THE CALLITFEMICIDE EXPOSED
IS THAT INDIGENOUS WOMEN ARE
OVERREPRESENTED IN FEMICIDE.
THEY MAKE UP 36 percent OF THE WOMEN
KILLED, BUT THEY ONLY MAKE UP
LESS THAN 5 percent OF THE POPULATION
IN CANADA.
DAWN, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN INDIGENOUS AND OTHER
RACIALIZED WOMEN WHO ARE ALSO
KILLED IN GREATER NUMBERS, IN
TERMS OF THE RISK OF VIOLENCE
THEY FACE AND ALSO FROM WHOM?

Dawn says SO INDIGENOUS WOMEN ARE
LIVING THEIR LIVES AT THE
INTERSECTION OF RACISM AND SEXISM.
SO IN CANADA IT WOULD BE
PATRIARCHY AND COLONIZATION THAT
BROUGHT OVER THIS NOTION THAT
WOMEN ARE INFERIOR, THAT MEN
SHOULD BE SUPERIOR.
WHEN YOU COMBINE THAT WITH THE
RACISM THAT SAYS INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE ARE INFERIOR OR EVEN
SUBHUMAN, BASED ON COLONIZATION,
THEN YOU CREATED AN ENTIRE
POPULATION OF PREY WHERE
INDIGENOUS WOMEN ARE THE PERFECT
PREY FOR SOMEONE WHO IS LOOKING
FOR VIOLENCE.
WE HAVE HEARD FROM THE GIRLS ON
THE STREETS, UNFORTUNATELY, THAT
THOSE KINDS OF MEN WHO ARE
LOOKING FOR VIOLENT SEXUAL
ENCOUNTERS ARE DELIBERATELY
SEEKING OUT INDIGENOUS WOMEN
BECAUSE THEY ALSO KNOW THAT
GIVEN RACISM IN SOCIETY THERE'S
LESS CHANCE THAT ANYBODY'S GOING
TO GO LOOKING, THAT THESE
ATTITUDES THAT IT WAS JUST
ANOTHER INDIAN CHICK, YOU KNOW,
SHE CHOOSE TO PUT HERSELF AT
RISK BY BEING OUT IN THE STREET,
ALSO LESS CHANCE THAT THEY WILL
EVER BE CHARGED, LESS CHANCE
THAT THEY WILL EVER SEE JUSTICE.
AND UNFORTUNATELY LOOKING AT THE
PATTERNS IN CANADIAN HISTORY AND
JUSTICE, IT'S VERY TRUE, THAT
IT'S VERY UNLIKELY THAT THEY
WILL EVER SEE JUSTICE, AND
THAT'S WHAT THE NATIONAL
INQUIRY, ALL OF THOSE FAMILIES,
ALL THOSE STORIES ARE BEGINNING
TO SHOW.
BUT THEN YOU ALSO COMPOUND THAT
WITH THE ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY,
WE KNOW THAT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
AND INDIGENOUS WOMEN
SPECIFICALLY ARE THE POOREST OF
THE POOR IN CANADIAN SOCIETY
BECAUSE OF THAT HISTORY OF
COLONIZATION.
SO WHEN YOU COMBINE THE RACISM,
SEXISM AND ECONOMIC
VULNERABILITY, YOU HAVE A
PERFECT STORM THAT MAKES
INDIGENOUS WOMEN MUCH, MUCH MORE
LIKELY TO BE VICTIMS, NOT ONLY
OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE BUT
ALSO, YOU KNOW, RANDOM STRANGER,
ACQUAINTANCE, AND-OR SERIAL
KILLERS IN THIS COUNTRY.

Nam says I THINK THAT IS ONE OF
THE DIFFERENCES.
IN THE REPORT FOR OTHER WOMEN IT
IS WOMEN THEY KNOW OR SOMEONE IN
THEIR FAMILY, BUT FOR INDIGENOUS
WOMEN IT COULD BE A STRANGER AS WELL.
DID THAT SURPRISE YOU, DAWN?

Dawn says UNFORTUNATELY, NO, IT DIDN'T
SURPRISE ME BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT
WE'VE HEARD FROM THE WOMEN ON
THE STREET.
THAT'S WHAT WE'VE BEEN HEARING
FROM THE WORK WE'VE BEEN DOING
WITH INDIGENOUS WOMEN FOR
DECADES NOW IS SPECIFICALLY
THAT, THAT OUR WOMEN ARE
TARGETS.
THEY ARE THE PERFECT PREY
BECAUSE THOSE PREDATORS OUT
THERE LOOKING TO COMMIT THESE
KIND OF VIOLENT ACTS BECAUSE OF
THEIR MISOGYNISTIC ATTITUDES,
BECAUSE OF THEIR HATRED OF
WOMEN, ARE DELIBERATELY SEEKING
WOMEN THEY KNOW THERE WILL BE
LESS ACTION, LESS OUTCRY AND
LESS CHANCE THAT THEY WILL EVER
BE CAUGHT.

Nam says WE'RE HAVING A
DISCUSSION AND WE'RE TRYING TO
FIGURE OUT MAYBE SOLUTIONS OR
EVEN JUST TO RAISE AWARENESS OF
THE ISSUE.
HOW AS A SOCIETY CAN WE HELP
HEAL THE INTERGENERATIONAL
TRAUMA THAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE
RE-VICTIMIZATION OF INDIGENOUS
WOMEN ACROSS THIS COUNTRY?

Dawn says SO I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT WAS MENTIONED EARLIER TODAY
IS THIS IS ABOUT EDUCATION.
THIS IS ABOUT... HAVING THIS
CONVERSATION, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY, WHEN WE
LOOKED AT THE RCMP REPORTS ON
THE NUMBER OF MISSING AND
MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN, THEY
VERY OFTEN LOOKED AT THOSE
WOMEN, WHAT IS IT ABOUT THEM
THAT IS MAKING THEM VICTIMS, AND
COMMENTS ABOUT INDIGENOUS WOMEN
LIVING A HIGH-RISK LIFESTYLE,
AND YES INDIGENOUS WOMEN ARE
HIGH-RISK, BUT NOT BECAUSE
THEY'VE CHOSEN A HIGH-RISK
LIFESTYLE.
THEY ARE HIGH RISK BECAUSE WHEN
YOU ARE BORN INTO A FIRST NATION
COMMUNITY THAT IS LIVING IN
THIRD WORLD CONDITIONS WITH NO
HYDRO, NO ROADS TO LEAVE THE
COMMUNITY.
THERE IS NO BUSES, YOU CAN'T GET
A TAXI OUT OF A FLY-IN
COMMUNITY.
SO WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD
DOESN'T RECOGNIZE THESE THIRD
WORLD CONDITIONS THESE GIRLS ARE
LIVING IN, THE LACK OF RESOURCES
AND THE FACT THAT, YES, OUR
WOMEN ARE HIGH RISK, BUT NOT
BECAUSE THEY CHOSE THAT, BUT
BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN BORN HIGH
RISK WHEN YOU'RE LIVING IN THIRD
WORLD CONDITIONS IN THE MIDDLE
OF ONE OF THE RICHEST COUNTRIES
IN THE WORLD.
SO THIS IS A SITUATION WHERE WE
HAVE TO ADDRESS THE ECONOMIC
SITUATION OF INDIGENOUS WOMEN,
BUT ALSO THE ECONOMIC SITUATION
OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE GENERALLY,
BUT ALSO THAT EDUCATION SO THAT
WE DON'T HAVE THE RACISM
COMPOUNDING THE PROBLEM WHEN
PEOPLE LOOK AT INDIGENOUS WOMEN
AND SAY, NO, SHE SHOULDN'T HAVE
BEEN ON THE STREETS.
NO INDIGENOUS YOUNG WOMAN, NO
GIRL DREAMS OF GROWING UP AND
BEING ON THE STREETS.
THAT'S A LACK OF OPPORTUNITY
BECAUSE OF CENTURIES OF
COLONIZATION, AND WE'RE STILL
EXPERIENCING THAT LEGACY.
IT DOESN'T GO AWAY OF THREE
YEARS OF JUSTIN TRUDEAU'S
GOVERNMENT.

Nam says MORE POLICY.
WE'LL GET INTO THE POLICY IN A
LITTLE BIT, BUT I REALLY WANTED
TO TALK TO SAMRA BECAUSE YOU
ACTUALLY HAVE A PERSONAL
CONNECTION TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,
AND I UNDERSTAND THIS IS PRETTY
DIFFICULT TO TALK ABOUT, AND WE
APPRECIATE YOU BEING ABLE TO
COME ON THE SHOW AND TALK ABOUT IT.

Samra says THANK YOU.

Nam says CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH
YOUR STORY, PLEASE?

Samra says YES, ABSOLUTELY.
SO I WAS BORN IN PAKISTAN.
I GREW UP IN ABU DHABI, AND THEN
AT THE AGE OF 16 I WAS TOLD BY
MY PARENTS THAT I'M GOING TO GET
MARRIED TO A MAN WHO LIVES IN
CANADA.
IS 11 YEARS OLDER, AND I WAS
SHIPPED OFF HERE AS HIS BRIDE.
SO I WAS 18 WHEN I ARRIVED HERE
AS HIS WIFE AND BECAME A MOTHER
RIGHT AWAY.
I WAS A TEENAGE MOM AND I WAS
CONFINED AT HOME, NOT ALLOWED TO
GO TO SCHOOL, NOT ALLOWED TO
HAVE AN EDUCATION FOR MANY YEARS.

A picture shows a teenage Samra smiling as she holds up a dial phone.
In another picture, she wears an ornate red wedding gown.

Samra continues AND AT THAT TIME, NOW THAT I
KNOW AND I LOOK BACK, THAT THE
ABUSE HAD STARTED FROM DAY ONE,
BECAUSE IT WAS ABUSE ABOUT POWER
AND CONTROL, AND A LOT OF TIMES
THE SCARS ARE INVISIBLE, SO IT
STARTED WITH A LOT OF THE VERBAL
ABUSE, NAME CALLING, YOU'RE
WORTHLESS, YOU'RE USELESS,
YOU'RE GOOD FOR NOTHING.
AND WHEN YOU HEAR THAT ON A
DAILY BASIS, YOU START BELIEVING
THAT.
SO WHEN YOU HEAR THAT I DON'T
RESPECT YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT
WORTHY OF RESPECT AND YOU LET...
INTERNALIZE IT AND YOU'RE
HEARING IT FROM YOUR PARTNER AND
HIS FAMILY AND YOU JUST START TO
BELIEVE THAT ABOUT YOURSELF.
SO OVER THE YEARS, WHEN THE
PHYSICAL VIOLENCE DID START AND
THE BRUISES APPEARED ON MY BODY,
I BELIEVED, YES, THAT'S MY FAULT
TOO BECAUSE THAT'S HOW I WAS
CONDITIONED.
AND IT'S... THAT'S REALLY HOW IT
STARTS, AND SO OVER THE... OVER
A DECADE THERE WAS A LOT OF
EMOTIONAL ABUSE, VERBAL ABUSE,
PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE, FINANCIAL
ABUSE, AND ULTIMATELY PHYSICAL
ABUSE AND SEXUAL ABUSE AS WELL.
SO IT... AND YES, THERE WERE
MANY TIMES WHEN I TRIED TO LEAVE
AND THEN I WOULD GO BACK BECAUSE
OF THE STRUCTURAL ABUSE.
LIKE I CALL IT, IT'S THE
VIOLENCE THAT SOCIETY INFLICTS
ON YOU.
WHEN YOU TRY TO SPEAK UP, WHEN
YOU TRY TO LEAVE, THE SENTENCE
YOU HEAR IS A GOOD WIFE STAYS
QUIET, A GOOD WIFE TOLERATES, A
GOOD WIFE TRIES TO MAKE IT WORK.
IT'S YOUR JOB TO STAY AND
PROTECT THE FAMILY HONOUR.
AND I KNOW THAT DAWN AND JOANNE
WERE TALKING ABOUT THE
PATRIARCHY THAT'S BUILT IN, AND
IT'S JUST... AND IT'S ACROSS THE
BOARD.
IT'S ACROSS DIFFERENT CULTURES
BECAUSE YOU SEE IT IN DIFFERENT
WAYS AND SHAPES AND FORMS.
AND THAT'S THE MISOGYNY AND THE
PATRIARCHY THAT'S JUST
INGRAINED.

Nam says YOU HAVE A BOOK CALLED
"A GOOD WIFE."

Samra says YES.

Nam says AND YOU ALSO WROTE AN
ARTICLE FOR THE TORONTO LIFE
THAT I WAS READING ON THE GO
TRAIN AND CRYING.
BECAUSE I THINK YOUR STORY IS
ONE OF PERSEVERANCE.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT THE LIFE
THAT YOU WERE LIVING, YOU
WERE... IT WAS ABUSIVE?
WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WERE
LIVING IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP?

The caption changes to "Samra Zafar. Author, 'A good wife.'"
A picture shows Samra in present day, smiling.

Samra says IT WAS ACTUALLY AFTER 10
YEARS OF MARRIAGE AND 10 YEARS
OF ABUSE.
THE ONE THING THAT EVEN DURING
THOSE 10 YEARS I WAS NOT WILLING
TO GIVE UP ON WAS MY EDUCATION.
SO I FINISHED MY HIGH SCHOOL
COURSES THROUGH DISTANCE
LEARNING AT HOME BECAUSE I WAS
NOT ALLOWED TO GO TO A REGULAR
SCHOOL, AND THEN WORKED AS A
BABYSITTER AND TUTOR TO SAVE
MONEY BECAUSE I WAS NOT ALLOWED
TO GO OUT.

Nam says AND YOU HAD TWO KIDS.

Samra says AND I HAD TWO KIDS.
BUT THAT SORT OF LIGHT AND HOPE
THAT ONE DAY I'LL BE ABLE TO GO
TO SCHOOL KEPT ME GOING.
SO WHEN I STARTED UNIVERSITY AT
THE AGE OF 26, AFTER I HAD TWO
CHILDREN AND AFTER ALMOST 10
YEARS OF MARRIAGE IS WHEN MY
WORLD STARTED TO OPEN UP.
I WAS FINALLY BEING TREATED WITH
KINDNESS AND RESPECT WHEN I
WOULD GO TO SCHOOL, AND I WOULD
MAKE FRIENDS, AND MY PROFESSORS
WOULD WANT TO TALK TO ME, AND I
WAS, LIKE, REALLY?
LIKE ME?

Nam says YOU WERE SEEING YOURSELF
THROUGH THE EYES OF OTHER PEOPLE
AN NOT THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUR
ABUSER.

Samra says YES.

Nam says LOOKING BACK NOW, WHAT
COULD HAVE MADE IT EASIER TO
LEAVE SOONER OR BE ABLE TO
IDENTIFY WHAT WAS GOING ON IN
YOUR LIFE?

The caption changes to "Samra Zafar, @iamsamrazafar."

Samra says I THINK JUST AWARENESS OF
WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS, WHAT IS OUT
THERE, WHAT ARE MY CHOICES?
SO THAT AWARENESS CAME TO ME
WHEN I WENT TO UTM AND I WAS A
STUDENT THERE AND I CAME ACROSS
THE HEALTH AND COUNSELLING
CENTRE ONE DAY, AND THE BOARD
THERE JUST KIND OF SPOKE TO ME,
AND I WENT IN AND MADE AN
APPOINTMENT, AND FINALLY
SOMEBODY SAID TO ME: IT'S NOT
YOUR FAULT.
NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, YOU DO
NOT DESERVE TO BE ABUSED.
THERE ARE OPTIONS.
THERE ARE CHOICES.
THERE ARE PATHWAYS.
IT'S NOT GOING TO BE ALL DOOMS
DAY WHEN YOU LEAVE.
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE, YOU
KNOW, CHEWED UP AND SPIT OUT AT
THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, LEFT TO
DIE.
YOU KNOW, THERE IS HOPE.
AND THAT'S KIND OF THAT HOPE
THAT I NEEDED TO LATCH ON TO.
IF I HAD THAT AWARENESS BEFORE,
IF I HAD GOT IT FROM SOMEWHERE
ELSE, WAY BEFORE I STARTED
UNIVERSITY, THEN I COULD HAVE
LEFT SOONER.
I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE.
BUT I DIDN'T REALLY BELIEVE THAT
THERE WAS ANY CHANCE OF ME BEING
ABLE TO SURVIVE ON MY OWN.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Nam says AND ALSO PROBABLY...
WE... I NEED TO ASK ABOUT THE
IMPACT OF CHILDREN BECAUSE YOU
HAD CHILDREN.

Samra says YEAH, MM-HM.

Nam says AND JOANNE, YOU SEE
WOMEN WHO ARE TRYING TO LEAVE
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND I THINK
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'VE
TALKED ABOUT IS MAYBE NOT HAVING
THE ECONOMIC MEANS TO LEAVE A
RELATIONSHIP WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS.
WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DOES THIS
HAVE ON CHILDREN?

Joanne says WELL, I THINK FOR A VERY LONG
TIME MOMS ESPECIALLY BELIEVE
THAT THEY WERE DOING THEIR VERY
BEST TO KEEP THEIR CHILDREN SAFE
AND THAT CHILDREN WERE NOT
NECESSARILY AWARE OF WHAT WAS
GOING ON AROUND THEM, THAT THE
ABUSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE
BEDROOM, IT WAS HAPPENING AT
NIGHT, THAT CHILDREN DIDN'T KNOW
THE IMPACT.
BUT INDEED WHAT WE KNOW NOW,
MORE SO, IS THAT INDEED CHILDREN
ARE IMPACTED, THAT THEY KNOW
MUCH MORE THAN WE HAVE EVER
BELIEVED THAT THEY DID KNOW.
AND THAT THEY BEGIN TO
UNDERSTAND SOMETIMES BECOME
PROTECTORS OF THEIR MOM.
SOMETIMES THEY BECOME PROTECTORS
OF THEIR SMALLER CHILDREN IN THE
HOME.
AND THAT AS THEY AGE AND MATURE,
THEN THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT
GENDER-ROLE STEREOTYPES ARE ARE
OFTEN INFORMED BY THE ABUSE THAT
HAPPENS IN THE HOME.
SO SOMETIMES CHILDREN TAKE ON
THE ROLE OF THE ABUSER BECAUSE
THAT'S THE ROLE THAT THEY'VE
SEEN ALL THE TIME.
SOMETIMES THEY TAKE ON THE ROLE
OF THE PERSON WHO WAS ABUSED,
AND THEN YOU SEE THAT GOING
FORWARD THROUGH LIFE AS WELL.
AND SO CHILDREN DEFINITELY ARE
IMPACTED AND DEFINITELY NEED
INTERVENTION AS WELL.

The caption changes to "Assaulted women's helpline: AWHL.ORG; 1-866-863-0511."

Nam says WE'VE BEEN TALKING A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT POLICY.
WE ONLY HAVE A FEW MINUTES LEFT.
IT'S FLOWN BY REALLY QUICKLY,
AND I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT
POLICY, FARRAH.
YOU'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN BOTH THE
PROVINCIAL AND FEDERAL LEVELS IN
TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO END
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MISSING FROM THE PUZZLE?

The caption changes to "A search for solutions."

Farrah says WELL, I THINK IN ONTARIO WE
HAVE A GREAT DISSERVICE THAT'S
HAPPENED IN THIS PROVINCE BY THE
DISBANDING OF THE ONTARIO ROUND
TABLE ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.
IT WAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BRING
MULTIPLE PEOPLE TO THE TABLE
FROM LABOUR, STUDENT
ORGANIZATIONS, VIOLENCE AGAINST
WOMEN, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL
VIOLENCE, TOGETHER AND LOOKING
AT THIS ISSUE.
WE HAD THE ABORIGINAL WOMEN'S
SHELTERS NETWORK ON THERE.
THE THING IS THAT THIS ISSUE,
WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT WOMEN GO TO
MULTIPLE SERVICES TO GET
SUPPORT.
THEY DON'T JUST GO TO A SHELTER.
THEY'RE GOING TO A COUNSELLING
SPACE.
THEY'RE GOING TO A SEXUAL
ASSAULT CENTRE.
THEY GO TO FIVE TO SEVEN
DIFFERENT SERVICES, AND ALL THE
SERVICES NEED TO BE FUNDED.
RIGHT NOW WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS A
PIECEMEAL OF FUNDING, A FUNDING
OF ONLY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, LIKE
THE DIRTY LITTLE SISTER SECRET,
AND WE CAN'T DO THAT.

Nam says YOU CAN'T SEPARATE THE TWO?

Farrah says YOU CANNOT, AND YOU ACTUALLY
NEED TO SUPPORT THAT, AND I KNOW
THAT SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTRES ARE
STILL WAITING TO FIND OUT WHAT'S
HAPPENING WITH THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE ACTION
PLAN THAT WAS RELEASED IN MARCH
1, 2018, AND THEY STILL HAVEN'T
RECEIVED THEIR 33 percent INCREASE.
AND THERE'S NO SIGN THAT'S GOING
TO CHANGE.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THAT THIS
SITUATION... BECAUSE WHEN NEW
GOVERNMENTS COME IN THEY ARE
ENTITLED TO FOCUS ON WHAT THEY
NEED TO FOCUS ON.

Farrah says RIGHT.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THIS IS A
PARTISAN ISSUE?

Farrah says NO, AND I THINK THAT'S THE
THING WE HAVE TO REMIND PEOPLE
ALL THE TIME, THAT GENDER-BASED
VIOLENCE, THE MURDER AND
FEMICIDE OF WOMEN, THE SEXUAL
ASSAULT OF WOMEN, THE SEXUAL
ASSAULT OF CHILDREN, RIGHT?
WE KNOW ONE IN THREE GIRLS...
ONE IN THREE WOMEN AND ONE IN
SIX MEN EXPERIENCE SEXUAL
VIOLENCE IN THEIR LIFETIME.
THAT'S NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE.
THAT'S A PEOPLE ISSUE, AND IF WE
CARE ABOUT THE PROSPERITY OF
THIS PROVINCE AND THIS COUNTRY,
WE HAVE TO CARE ABOUT THIS.
WE KNOW THAT IT COSTS OUR
ECONOMY 12 BILLION dollars EVERY YEAR,
AT LEAST THAT'S THE STATUS THAT
WE GOT A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO.
IT'S PROBABLY MORE NOW.
IT COSTS US 12 BILLION dollars A YEAR
TO NOT ADDRESS GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE.
IT DOESN'T HELP OUR ECONOMY.
AND YES PEOPLE CAN CHANGE POWER.
IT SHOULDN'T MATTER WHAT
GOVERNMENT'S IN POWER TO
RECOGNIZE THAT THIS IS A VITAL
ISSUE AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED,
AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES ME
NERVOUS.
IT SHOULDN'T BE LIKE BECAUSE
IT'S TRENDY, AND ME-TOO IS A
REALLY BIG CONVERSATION THAT
HAPPENS, BUT BEFORE ME-TOO WAS
TALKING ABOUT JIAN GHOMESHI AND
BEFORE THAT WE WERE TALKING
ABOUT OTHER THINGS.
IT'S NOT LIKE THIS IS NOT A NEW
CONVERSATION.
WHAT WE DO NEED IS EVERY
GOVERNMENT FROM MUNICIPAL TO
PROVINCIAL TO FEDERAL TO LOOK AT
THIS.
AND TORONTO ALONE, WHERE WE ARE
RIGHT NOW, YOU KNOW, WE HAD A
HUGE MASS MURDER OF WOMEN DURING
THE VAN ATTACK IN APRIL.
AND DURING THE MUNICIPAL
ELECTION WE DID NOT SEE ANY OF
THE MAYORAL CANDIDATES TALK
ABOUT MISOGYNY.
AND THE FEDERAL ELECTION THAT'S
COMING UP, I WANT TO MAKE SURE
THAT OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS
SPEAKING ABOUT THIS.
AND IT'S NOT TRENDY.
IT DOESN'T HURT ONE COMMUNITY
OVER ANOTHER.
WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS THIS IS
VITAL.
PEOPLE NEED TO LIVE AND THRIVE
IN THIS PROVINCE IN THIS
COUNTRY.

Nam says SAMRA, I'D LIKE TO GIVE
YOU THE LAST WORD.
YOU WERE IN AN ABUSIVE
RELATIONSHIP.
YOU HAVE A SUCCESSFUL LIFE NOW.
WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO
SHARE WITH ANYONE WHO MAY BE
FEELING TRAPPED OR IN AN ABUSIVE
RELATIONSHIP AND IS AFRAID TO
LEAVE BECAUSE OF THEIR CHILDREN?

The caption changes to "It can get better."

Samra says SO A COUPLE OF THINGS.
FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, AS WELL
AS TALKING TO A LOT OF PEOPLE
AND JUST EDUCATING MYSELF, I
KNOW THAT THE IMPACT ON CHILDREN
OF EXPERIENCING OR LIVING WITH
FAMILY VIOLENCE, THEY DON'T JUST
WITNESS IT, THEY EXPERIENCE IT
LIKE IT'S HAPPENING TO THEM, THE
EFFECTS OF THAT TRAUMA LAST
FOREVER, AND I KNOW THAT AS A
PARENT THAT I'M SUPPORTING MY
KIDS THROUGH THAT AND WE'RE
STILL HEALING AND WE'RE STILL
GETTING HELP, AND IT'S... YOU
KNOW, YOU THINK THAT, YOU KNOW,
BY... I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE
BECAUSE MY KIDS WILL LIVE IN A
SINGLE-PARENT FAMILY OR I DON'T
WANT TO LEAVE BECAUSE THEY'LL BE
SEPARATED FROM THEIR FATHER.
THAT, YES, IT IS DIFFICULT FOR
CHILDREN WHEN PARENTS SEPARATE,
BUT THE TRAUMA OF LIVING WITH
FAMILY VIOLENCE IS AN EVERYDAY
THING, AND THAT IS MUCH, MUCH
MORE DETRIMENTAL.
SO IF THERE'S ANYTHING I WISH OR
ANY REGRETS THAT I HAD IN MY
LIFE IS I WISH I COULD HAVE LEFT
SOONER FOR THE SAKE OF MY
CHILDREN SO THAT THEY DIDN'T
HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THAT GROWING
UP.
AND I THINK THE MESSAGES, LIKE,
YOU KNOW, FOR A LOT OF WOMEN,
THEY REACH OUT AND THEY SAY,
WELL, IT'S SO DIFFICULT TO
LEAVE.
AND I WOULD SAY, YES IT IS, IT
IS DIFFICULT, IT IS GOING TO BE
TOUGH BECAUSE OF JUST THE LACK
OF SUPPORT.
SOMETIMES THE LACK OF AWARENESS,
SOMETIMES IT'S THE CULTURAL
BACKLASH BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS
EXPERIENCED ACROSS COMMUNITIES
AND CULTURES, BUT THE EXPERIENCE
OF IT, IT COULD BE QUITE
DIFFERENT, AND THE CULTURED
NUANCES ARE THERE AND THE LEVEL
OF SHAME AND STIGMA ASSOCIATED
WITH WALKING AWAY COULD BE
DIFFERENT FROM COMMUNITY TO
COMMUNITY.
YES, IT WILL BE DIFFICULT, AND
IT'S NOT GOING TO BE EASY.
AND YOU CAN STILL DO IT.
THERE ARE GOING TO BE SUPPORT
SYSTEMS, MAYBE NOT ALL DOORS
WILL OPEN, BUT SOME WILL, AND
THERE ARE PEOPLE AROUND YOU THAT
WILL RALLY AROUND YOU.
AND YOU JUST GOT TO TAKE THAT
RESPONSIBILITY OF HEALING AND
FIGHTING, AND THEN FIND THE
RIGHT PEOPLE TO SUPPORT YOU AND
GET OUT OF IT.
AND YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT'S
EASIER SAID THAN DONE, BUT THERE
IS A WAY.

Nam says TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP.

Samra says TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP IS THE
HARDEST, BUT IT'S ALSO THE MOST
NECESSARY ONE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Nam says SAMRA, THANK YOU VERY
MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR STORY.
FARRAH, DAWN, JOANNE THANK YOU
FOR THE WORK YOU DO AND SHARING
YOUR INSIGHTS ON A VERY
IMPORTANT TOPIC.
THANK YOU FOR MAKING TIME FOR
"THE AGENDA."

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: Fighting Femicide in Ontario