Peel Regional Police say the three women killed in apparent acts of domestic violence in a three-hour period on Friday night and Saturday morning equals the total number of women killed in homicides in the region in all of 2017.
Thirty-two-year-old Baljit Thandi and her mother, 60-year-old Avtar Kaur, were found stabbed to death in the family’s home on Starhill Crescent in Brampton at around 10:45 p.m. Friday. Thandi’s husband, 29-year-old Dalwinder Singh, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.
In the other case, 61-year-old Elaine Bellevue was found stabbed to death and her teenage daughter was also injured in the family’s home on Marmac Crescent in Mississauga early Saturday morning. Bellevue’s 61-year-old husband Bob Bellevue was taken to hospital after an altercation with police. He was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.
A 71-year-old Indian-Canadian woman, a domestic violence survivor herself who did not want to be identified on camera, told Global News many women in her community, often newcomers to Canada, will not seek help — even if they fear for their lives.
“The community itself will discard you, it’s very few people who will come to your help and encourage you to remain in the shelter and to help you out,” she said, explaining that anyone who speaks out against their husband is perceived as a traitor.
The woman said there are no shelters catering to Indian-Canadian women in the Greater Toronto Area where their language and culture are understood.
The director of the Salvation Army Family Resource Centre, an emergency shelter for women and children in Brampton, said despite being full, there is always room for victims in need.
“Every woman is important and those children are so important, they’re all welcome if we have the space,” Marilyn Field told Global News, calling this recent spate of domestic violence “terrible.”