OTTAWA – A research group from Guelph, Ont., says in the first half of 2018, 78 women and girls have been killed and 12 of them were Indigenous.
The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability is hoping to draw more attention to femicide, the killing of women and girls, by publicly disclosing the names of Canadian victims.
It issued a listing this week of 78 victims identified through media reports across the country in the first half of 2018.
The list reads like a journalistic catalogue of violence against women and girls, mostly domestic in nature, identifying victims by age, location and name, where possible. In a number of cases, however, the names are missing.
“This is largely due to a growing trend in some jurisdictions not to release names of victims,” the observatory said in a report on its website.
“We feel it is still important to include an entry for this individual to remember her as a femicide victim.”
The majority of cases were reported in Ontario, followed by Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta.
Of the 78 victims counted, 12 of them are listed as Indigenous, a factor the report’s authors said was important to highlight, “given the high risks faced by Indigenous women and girls and the ongoing national inquiry into this situation.”
But the authors note such cases are often under-counted because media reports, on which the numbers are based, don’t always include details such as ethnicity.
The observatory was established last year by the University of Guelph’s Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence with a goal of documenting femicide cases and the responses to those deaths by governments and other institutions.
There were several media reports from January through June of this year of “suspicious deaths” or disappearances of women and girls that have not been included in the report, along with deaths resulting from auto accidents or other clearly random acts, said the report’s authors.
However, the report said the number of victims could be revised upwards, depending on the outcomes of investigations into those deaths.