Quebec police confirm murder-suicide as the 10th femicide of the year
Published Saturday, April 17, 2021 9:48AM EDT Last Updated Sunday, April 18, 2021 8:52AM EDT
MONTREAL -- The tenth feminicide of the year occurred Friday in Mercier, Montérégie.
The day after the discovery of two bodies in a residence on Beauchemin St., the Surete du Québec (SQ) said Saturday that everything points to a "domestic dispute."
The bodies of Richard West, 38, and his wife Dyann Serafica-Donaire, 50, were found Friday.
According to the analysis of the scene and the information collected, the SQ has established that Mr. West killed Ms. Serafica-Donaire, before taking his own life, said SQ spokeswoman Anik Lamirande in an interview.
This is the 10th feminicide to occur in Quebec since the beginning of 2021.
The criminal investigation is now complete, but autopsies will be performed by the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale in Montreal.
"The coroner's inquest will provide more information about the circumstances surrounding the deaths," said Lamirande.
The Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Isabelle Charest, said that "all of Quebec is shaken" by the news of this latest feminicide.
"Our thoughts are with the victim's loved ones and our government is continuing to work to quickly propose solutions to this disturbing crisis," she said on Twitter.
The Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale spoke about a "horrifying count that does not seem to be drying up" -- the 2020 figure has already been exceeded in just four months.
"We are often asked how to put an end to feminicide, and the answer is multifaceted: we need to act in the short, medium and long term, both with emergency measures and with a profound change in mentalities," said president Chantal Arseneault in a news release.
The Regroupement also stresses that everyone should feel concerned about domestic violence.
"Whether you work in health care, education, the community, the police or elsewhere, take the time to assess a situation where you feel a woman is being controlled by a partner. Never hesitate to raise a flag, because you may be the only ones who can do it," said Arseneault.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, here are some available resources:
SOS violence conjugale (1-800-363-9010)
Your neighbourhood CLSC (Info-santé: 811)
Crime Victim Assistance Centre (1-866-532-2822)
Assistance aux femmes (514-270-8291)
Shield of Athena (514-274-8117 or 1-877-274-8117)
Find the nearest shelter at Women's Shelters Canada
If you need immediate assistance, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.
-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2021.