5 women killed in January victims of alleged intimate partner violence, police say

February 5, 2018

Five women have been killed in alleged acts of intimate partner violence in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) so far this year, according to police. A sixth woman was found dead in an apartment on Jan. 27, but investigators have yet to determine the relationship between her and her alleged killer.

The Canadian Women's Foundation says that intimate partner violence affects women across the country.

According to the Foundation, one woman is killed every six days in Canada by her intimate partner.

Farrah Khan, the manager of the office of sexual violence, support and education at Ryerson University, says it is "horrifying" that Ontario has seen six women killed in January alone.

Jan Singh, Baljit Thandi, Avtar Kaur, Holly Hamilton and Elaine Bellevue are just the latest victims of alleged intimate partner violence in Ontario. The connection between the sixth woman, Hoden Said, and her alleged killer, who was found dead Friday, remains unclear.

Statistics Canada defines intimate partner violence as violence perpetrated by spouses or dating partners from either current or past relationships. It can take the form of either physical or psychological harm. 

According to Statistics Canada:

  • Intimate partner violence was the leading type of violence experienced by women in 2016.
  • Ontario had the lowest reported rates of intimate partner violence in Canada in 2016.
  • Seven out of 10 cases of spousal violence went unreported in 2014.

Khan says that the issue of violence toward women is often seen as a private matter, but must be given more attention both publicly and politically.

"The truth is we're usually facing stories that women are harmed by someone they know," Khan says. "And we have to really explore why is it that someone very close to us can be the most dangerous person."

Read more: 5 women killed in January victims of alleged intimate partner violence, police say