Staying on top of conjugal violence
Women's shelters are reiterating their calls for improved police training in cases of conjugal violence in the wake of the death of Pamela Jean, allegedly murdered by her ex.
Jean's father is also reportedly taking the police to task for taking too long to act when his 27-year-old went missing prior to her death. Juan Palma is charged with second degree murder in connection with Jean's death. Her body was found in Palma's apartment last week.
Manon Monastesse, provincial director for the Fédération de ressources d'hébergement pour femmes violentées et en difficulté du Québec, said filing a police complaint in conjugal violence cases is not easy for women and that abused women often don't speak up because they don't think they'll get help or they were pressured or threatened by their spouse.
"We have to take them seriously," Monastesse said.
Monastesse said red flags should have gone up following Jean's previous complaints of alleged assault against Palma. His lawyer says Jean withdrew the complaints.
Kim Cairnduff, general director of the West Island Women's Shelter, said that phrase is misleading because legally that complaint can't be withdrawn and that the cycle of abuse likely is to blame.
"When we say withdraw, maybe she withdrew her collaboration, but legally she cannot withdraw her complaint," Cairnduff said.
"(In cases like that), she will decide she doesn't want to collaborate with the police and go testify against him because she's stuck in the cycle and hoping everything is going to go better."
Cairnduff says ongoing police training is key to better intervene and identify such red flags in these cases.