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Quebecers to hold events ahead of Easter holiday to honour female victims of violence

VIRGINIE ANN, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Mar 31st, 2021

MONTREAL — Several events are taking place across Quebec ahead of the Easter holiday to honour the memories of the women who have recently died in the province from domestic assault.

The association of Quebec bishops, Assemblee des eveques catholiques du Quebec, is inviting churches across the province to ring their bells today to remember the seven women allegedly killed by their partners since the start of the year.

Women’s shelters are inviting citizens to gather across Quebec for protest marches on Friday in support of victims of domestic violence and to pressure the government to invest more money into services for domestic abuse victims.

And on Saturday, the family of 29-year-old Rebekah Harry, who died on March 23 from injuries resulting from an alleged attack by her boyfriend, is organizing a march in Montreal to honour her memory.

On Tuesday, the sister of a Quebec woman found dead in a remote village in the province’s northern Nunavik region last week says Kataluk Paningayak-Naluiyuk, 43, was the latest victim of domestic violence in the province.

Provincial police say they are waiting for autopsy results before they release more information.

Sabrina Di Matteo, with the association of Quebec bishops, says the timing is right to take a symbolic gesture and ring church bells.

“There’s currently a lot of pressure, social and politically,” Di Matteo said in an interview Tuesday. “Seven femicides in seven weeks, it deeply shook us.”

Harry’s brother, Teddy Frenette, read the names of seven women killed this year by their partners, during a news conference on Monday.

“No man should ever put their hands on women,” Frenette said. “We hear the stories but we choose to close our eyes and we think it can never happen to me, can never happen to my mother, can never happen to my sister, or my friend.”

Brandon McIntyre, 32, was charged Monday with second-degree murder in connection with Harry’s death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 31, 2021.

Virginie Ann, The Canadian Press

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