Thursday, June 1, 2017

A SMALL TOWN IN MOURNING

Last Friday night after arriving back in town late, I quickly picked up my pups at the house and headed to the cottage. I prepared a quick meal, read a book for a bit, then decided to watch a movie. Shortly after midnight I headed upstairs and checked my Facebook one last time for good luck. My entire body froze as I read the tragic headline aloud: Woman dead following gun shots in Wellington Street area, Bracebridge.

As soon as I looked at the online news photo, I knew who'd been killed. In hindsight, the more unsettling in the moment was that before my husband saw any photos, he matter-a-fact-ly announced her murderer by name. Almost a week later, I am truly sad to write that we were both correct. Once again, our small town mourns as a wonderful woman tragically lost her life in the terrible war against domestic violence.

Gone but never to be forgotten.
TAKEN: MAY 29th, 2017

Out of respect for the family, my post isn’t to retrace steps, nor point fingers. My personal reason for writing's more to put a focus on awareness. You see, the morning following the incident, a publication ban was placed on the episode. For the rest of the weekend the radio waves remained quiet of the incident and the online posts were only updating readers that there had been first degree murder charges laid and nothing else because the ban was in place. All I kept asking myself was... will a deliberate hush of quiet allow the loss of this beautiful soul to be in vain?

The thought of protecting the murderers' identity was absolutely and utterly incomprehensible me. I got stuck at the simplistic thinking of why should he be given the luxury? Shouldn’t he be showered with the exact amount of respect he offered his wife? As I began to voice my concern to others, every single person expressed the very same opinion; that he deserved nothing. 

Finally, Monday afternoon I took it upon myself to start making calls. My first was to one of her closest friends. I listened intently then explained the reason for my call. I wanted to rally support to get the publication ban lifted. The sole purpose being, if removing the gag order saved only one woman as a result of understanding how last Friday nights tragedy transpired, her death would not be in vain and she would be the others saviour. I am pleased to report that the publication ban was lifted at the beginning of her assailants bail hearing on the morning of May 30th.

So I beg all of you reading, no matter how painful the idea of domestic violence is, please talk about it. Talk about the ‘who, what, where, when and how’...  hell, yell it from the roof top. Because it's my humble opinion that in a society where one in three are the hard abuse statistics, awareness will always be our best front line defense tactic in saving innocent lives.

Outside of that, what I do know to be true is that I am going to follow the upcoming events at the courthouse intently and with a true sense of personal commitment. Moving forward I am going to spearhead more fundraising to help any of those one in three women that are currently under fire. Partially because I am blessed that I will never be in need of the truly valuable support services and secure shelter, yet more importantly to maximize the hope of never having to write about this again.

Thanks for reading but more importantly no matter where you live or what you do, please always work towards raising awareness against domestic abuse and improving these horrible and very senseless crimes.

Rest in peace Wendy Boland. You may be gone but I promise you will never be forgotten.