Addressing the Epidemic: Understanding Declarations of Intimate Partner Violence

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WARNING: This article contains details about fatal domestic violence and may be upsetting to some readers.



The family of a man who killed four people — including three children — before turning a gun on himself is it. Why does this have to keep happening and why is nothing being done?

Following the tragic and horrific loss of five people, including three children, as a result of intimate partner violence in Sault Ste. Marie, Official Opposition NDP Leader Marit Stiles urgently called on Premier Ford to take action and declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in Ontario.

“Tragically, gender-based violence and femicide is on the rise, and we are long overdue for urgent change. A report from July of this year found that 30 women were killed in 30 weeks.

68 out of 86 recommendations from the Renfrew Inquest fall under provincial jurisdiction. It is shameful that the Ford government not only rejected many of these recommendations, but also chose to not declare intimate partner violence an epidemic.

We don’t have time to waste. We should be doing everything we can to prevent even one more death from intimate partner violence.”


Fedeli’s office clarified that he meant he expected the conversation around the issue would “continue” next week, not that a declaration would take place.

Tibollo is Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Parsa is Minister Children, Community and Social Services, and Williams is Associate Minister of Children, Community and Social Services are calling to declare the epidemic as has intensified since an adult and three children were murdered in Sault Ste. Marie in what police said was an act of intimate partner violence.


Support is available for people experiencing violence. In an emergency, call 911.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation has created a way for people experiencing gender-based violence to signal for help(opens in a new tab) without leaving a digital trace.

If you see the signal for help:

  1.  Reach out to the person safely.
  2.  Be supportive: acknowledge their experience, listen, and let them tell you what they need.
  3.  Refer them to services or offer resources, as needed.

Learn more here about the signal and how to respond safely here

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