VANCOUVER – The family of a Langley woman who was attacked in another domestic dispute earlier this month is speaking out for the first time today.
The 14-year-old girl, who was injured trying to protect her mother, is starting a group to help other young women who are victims of domestic violence.
Forty-four-year-old Andre Richard is charged with three counts of attempted murder, arson and assault after allegedly attacking his estranged wife and her daughter earlier this month and then setting the home on fire.
The mother and daughter were beaten, but managed to escape with another child, an eight-year-old boy.
Richard was arrested the next day in Fernie, not far from the Alberta border. He had been under court order to stay away from his wife.
Now his daughter is stepping up to help others, with some support from her aunt.
“We often look at this as one-time things that happen in our community, that they’re isolated incidents, they’re not, this is twice in one month in our communities,” said Loretta Cella, aunt and sister to the victims.
She is referring to the recent story of a mother of three who was killed in an alleged domestic dispute in Clearwater on Sunday night.
Loretta and her niece have now started the Healing our Hurting Hearts Club, a group for girls ages 11 to 18 who have experienced domestic violence in some form or another.
The group should be up and running by the fall.
“This is an opportunity for them to connect with resources, to stay in school, to get counselling or other additional supports that they may need, and then to take part in community activities that are positive for them,” said Loretta.
She said her niece is “quite a little hero” for what she is doing for others after what she has been through.
- With files from John Daly
© Shaw Media, 2014