Dear Editor,

The recent death of Jan Singh in Oakville, ruled a homicide by police, makes us all pause and reflect. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends. Her loss will undoubtedly affect many lives in lasting and profound ways.

On average in Canada, a woman is murdered by her intimate partner every six days, according to 2009 figures from Statistics Canada. However, in one week in Peel, Hamilton and Halton, five women were allegedly murdered by their intimate partner or a relative.

The case in Oakville has been identified as a murder-suicide, which unfortunately is not an isolated incident. Instead, it highlights the many ways domestic homicides take place in homes across Canada, including the increasing rates of domestic homicides among older adults.

Domestic homicides are the most preventable and predictable of all homicides, according to the Neighbours Friends and Families Public Education Campaign.

Year after year, the Ontario Domestic Death Review Committee takes a look at cases of domestic homicides, identifying risk factors and producing recommendations to increase awareness about domestic violence and how it can escalate to domestic homicide.

A woman being murdered by an intimate partner is a tragedy. When this type of crime happens in our own community, it is jarring and highlights just how much danger women and children can face.

So many women are living with abuse and are struggling in isolation. It’s time we all speak out against violence against women and children. Lives depend on it.

Resources and support are available to women in Halton, including for women still involved in an abusive relationships, those ready to end their relationship as well as those who have just ended their relationship. Please reach to the following organizations for support:

Thrive Counselling (905-637-5256), which offers individual and group counselling, as well as services for men who are abusive in their relationships;

  • Halton Women’s Place, which offers a 24-hour crisis line, safety planning, outreach services and emergency shelters in Burlington (905-332-7892) and Milton (905-878-8555);
  • SAVIS (905-875-1555), which offers a 24-hour crisis line, counselling and accompaniments to police or hospital;
  • Nina’s Place Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre at Joseph Brant Hospital (905-632-3737 ext. 5708) for health care, referrals and counselling;
  • The Women’s Centre of Halton (905-847-5520), which offers support, resources, including access to computer, social activities, drop-in support and group programs;
  • Halton Regional Police Services by calling 911 or through its Domestic Violence Investigative Unit (905-825-4747 ext. 8799);
  • Assaulted Women’s Helpline (1-866-863-0511), which offers a 24-hour crisis line in more than 200 languages.

For those of you who know someone who is experiencing abuse in their relationships, find a way to reach out and let them know you care about them.

To learn more about how to help a friend, family member, co-worker, or neighbour, understand warning signs, or to talk to a man you know about his abusive behaviour towards his partner, visit