In Canada, we’re mourning the lives of 22 people who were senselessly murdered by a lone gunman in quiet, friendly rural Nova Scotia on April 19, 2020. At the time, the mass shooting accounted for more deaths than Covid-19 had in the province with a population of almost one million. For the first few days, that was the only correlation made. A week into the investigation, it is becoming clear that this horrific rampage began as domestic violence. In addition, statistics are showing that violence against women has increased in Canada by 30 percent. We have more than one pandemic of which to be mindful.
Canadian Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Mosef is concerned about the increased danger women and children may experience while on Covid-19 lockdown: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/domestic-violence-rates-rising-due-to-covid19-1.5545851
Think about it. The coronavirus pandemic is empowering abusers. Many support groups have shut down. Victims are afraid to call help lines because their abuser is watching. Alcohol has been deemed ‘essential’. Abusers have their victims where they want them – isolated. The situation is a nightmare.
What can you do? In our polite society, we have a tendency to not get involved. If you suspect potential for violence, call the person and ask if they want help. Let them know that you are there and that women’s shelters are open. You may save someone’s life.
Abuse is all about ‘power’ and ‘control’. Case in point: The Nova Scotia gunman had a distinct admiration of power. He wanted to appear as an RCMP Officer. As a society, we need to start acknowledging the correlation between domestic abuse and violence. We need recognize and record homicides that have their root causes in domestic violence. Only then will we be able to address the problem.