The dead cannot bear witness to their shattered dreams

On Christmas Day, a man kills his spouse in Montreal. A sad repetition of a series of “intimate” feminicides. The WHO thus designates the murders of women killed by their spouses. A woman in Canada is killed every other day by a spouse or ex-spouse, all of the terrible tragedies repeatedly. Last week, another woman was kidnapped and beaten by her husband, less than a week after the spousal homicide in Pointe-aux-Trembles, in which Dahia Khellaf and her two children lost their lives.
In the Montreal district alone, we are talking about 4,016 cases opened in matters of domestic violence in 2018, according to figures from the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP). Fear, bodies trembling under threat, death crouching behind closed windows. And calls for help that are lost in the failure of “810” prescriptions. And shelters that hide.

However, on November 6, before public indignation reached its current level in the face of these feminicides, the president of the Federation of women’s shelters, Manon Monastesse, came to the National Assembly to ask the government to help them welcome women and children who are experiencing violence. The president knows that these shelters can save lives, but her Federation had to reluctantly refuse, due to lack of space, 15,000 new requests in 2018-2019. Unfortunately, Ms. Monastesse’s press conference had little media coverage. And for good reason.

A press conference the day before had indeed taken all the media place. The opposition parties, accompanied by the beneficiaries of the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ), reacted to the changes made to this program by the government. The testimonies felt by the crying victims, shocked by these changes without notice of rules that turned their dreams of living in Quebec upside down, had quite an impact. Skillfully orchestrated in terms of communication, this press conference had monopolized the media and the opposition, which was killing two birds with one stone: draw attention to the unfortunate consequences of the precipitous reform and demonize at the same time the strong man of the government, Minister Jolin-Barrette. Caught in the controversy of the sensitive subject of immigration,

To alert Quebec, which is indignant now, should the press conference of the Federation of shelters have been punctuated by heartbreaking testimonies from women victims of domestic violence? Unfortunately, in the National Assembly, the dead cannot bear witness to their shattered dreams. Shaken by the most recent marital tragedies, the Prime Minister has ordered an action plan against domestic violence and is considering adding resources to shelters: “[…] indeed, I do not think we will get out not without adding resources, “said the Prime Minister on December 18.

Believe the Prime Minister. The right to security is the first of all rights. The philosopher Hobbes regarded security as the main purpose of the state. Safety is not one right among others, but the prerequisite for the exercise of all rights. Finally, let us hope that thanks to this plan, the last in the running, it is not only life projects that will be protected, but the very lives of women and children.

Among the Celts, Halloween symbolized the last day of the year. On the eve of New Years, can we dream of the end of all feminicides?

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