Protesters call for more action on domestic violence after 8 women killed this year

·2 min read
People take part in a demonstration to highlight violence against women in Montreal on Friday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
People take part in a demonstration to highlight violence against women in Montreal on Friday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Protesters in cities across the province are calling on the Quebec government to do more to prevent domestic violence after a rash of homicides involving romantic partners over the past few months.

The protests come as Quebec provincial police confirmed this week there has been an eighth woman killed so far this year.

Last week, Kataluk Paningayak-Naluiyuk, 43, was found dead along with her partner Peter Ainalik, 44, in Ivujivik, a fly-in community of about 400 people in Nunavik.

The Sûreté du Québec says it can now confirm Paningayak-Naluiyuk was killed by Ainalik, who then killed himself.

Paningayak-Naluiyuk's sister Maggie Naluiyuk, has said Kataluk's marriage was marked by violence. She said her sister had more than once been transported to Montreal for treatment in hospital.

Several hundred people gathered in La Fontaine Park for the Montreal demonstration, marching on a sunny but cold afternoon. They held signs and banners with messages such as, "It's enough!" and "Stop femicides."

Other protests for the cause were also held in Quebec City, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Rimouski, Baie-Comeau, Rouyn-Noranda, Cowansville, Longueuil and Matane, among others.

Kataluk Paningayak-Naluiyuk was found dead just days after Rebekah Harry was killed by her partner in Montreal on March 23.

Kataluk Paningayak-Naluiyuk, 43, was found dead alongside her partner at the end of March. Quebec provincial police say Paningayak-Naluiyuk's partner killed her.
Kataluk Paningayak-Naluiyuk, 43, was found dead alongside her partner at the end of March. Quebec provincial police say Paningayak-Naluiyuk's partner killed her.(Radio-Canada)

They are preceded by Nadège Jolicoeur, Myriam Dallaire, Sylvie Bisson, Nancy Roy, Marly Édouard and Elisapee Angma.

Faced with a worrying number of murdered women in the province this year, organizations helping victims of domestic violence have repeated appeals for help and funding.

They say they are overwhelmed and are struggling to accept all requests for help, which they say have skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Eight women have been killed so far this year in the province. These deaths could have been prevented if Quebec had better support systems in place, advocates say.
Eight women have been killed so far this year in the province. These deaths could have been prevented if Quebec had better support systems in place, advocates say.(Valeria Cori-Manocchio/CBC)

The organizations say confinement measures enabled violent spouses to strengthen the hold they have over their partners.

The Legault government says it will invest $22.5 million over five years to finance shelters for victims of domestic violence. But several organizations say it's not enough to face the demand.

If you're in immediate danger, call 911. If you need help, SOS violence conjugale is a province-wide toll-free crisis line, available 24/7.

You can reach them at 1-800-363-9010 by phone, or via text at 438-601-1211 You can also look for information on SOS's new website.