**PLEASE NOTE DEPENDING on the TRIAL AND CONFIRMATION FROM THE CITY OF OTTAWA. May be rescheduled to Tues Oct 10 stay tuned to Facebook event for any updates ***
On Sept. 22, 2015, Anastasia Kuzyk, Nathalie Warmerdam and Carol Culleton were killed within hours of each other near Wilno, Ontario.
A man with a long history of criminal violence against the victims, and other women, is charged with three counts of first degree murder. On numerous occasions, charges against him were stayed (dismissed), and on two occasions, prison sentences significantly reduced.
To coincide with the beginning of the trial, we will be holding a gathering at the Human Rights Monument to demonstrate our support and solidarity with the victims' families and loved-ones - many who will be unable to make the journey to Ottawa for what may be a lengthy trial.
BecauseWilno is a group of people concerned about Gender-Based Violence (GBV) who want to make sure that as this significant trial progresses, focus remains on the victims, and systemic issues that need to be addressed in order to help protect victims of violence, and to prevent further acts of violence.
We want to see:
1) Criminal Justice Reform and Accountability - toughening of laws and bail conditions for cases of gender-based violence (GBV) and tracking of attrition rates from reported offences, to charges laid, to final legal resolution (i.e. charges were dismissed/stayed, accused pled guilty to reduced charges, accused was convicted);
2) Designated Resources - to offer enhanced GBV training of rural police services, crown attorneys and judges; and the hiring of more crown attorneys, probation officers and Victim Support Services workers; and,
3) More support for victims - including 10 days paid leave and up to 15 weeks unpaid leave for victims of GBV and sexual assault and expanded access to legal assistance for victims seeking restraining orders.
These tragedies highlight weaknesses in the system that victims of violence, front-line workers and advocacy groups have been raising for years.
We feel that in order to demand change and bring attention to these glaring gaps in the system, is important that the Ottawa community demonstrate concern for this case and these issues.
These women were mothers, sisters, daughters, partners, a real estate agent, a nurse and a compensation advisor for the federal public service. They were active in their communities and cherished by their families.
Please come out to show your solidarity with their loved ones.
The organizers would like to thank the following groups for their invaluable advice and support for this event:
- Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County (WSAC)
- Ottawa Coalition To End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW)
- Harmony House
- Women’s Events Network
- Minwaashin Lodge
please follow us on twitter at @BecauseWilno