Victims’ lawyer wants harassment treated as a ‘red flag’ crime

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The criminal justice system needs to start treating the crime of harassment as a « red flag » that signals the possibility of more serious and violent behavior, says a women’s rights advocate.

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« We need to understand that bullying is a red flag for homicide ⁠—it’s a well-documented fact ⁠—and treat it with the severity it deserves, » said Julie Lalonde, bullying survivor and expert. recognized nationally on violence against women.

Stalking, also known as stalking, is often a symptom of the kind of dangerous obsession that leads to assaults, sexual assaults and murders, she said, adding: « We have to recognize that ‘It is very rarely an isolated crime.

Lalonde spoke on Thursday following the revelation, first reported by CBC’s Shaamini Yogaretnam, that Joshua Graves had been charged with stalking, assault and sexual assault, then released three days before he stabbed an Ottawa mother and her two daughters.

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Two of these women, Anne-Marie Ready, 50, and her daughter, Jasmine Ready, 15, died. Catherine Ready, 19, remains in hospital with stab wounds and gunshot wounds.

A knife-wielding Graves was shot dead by police on Monday night on Anoka Street where he was assaulting Catherine Ready.

According to information released by Ontario police watchdog the Special Investigations Unit, officers ordered Graves to drop his gun and when he failed to act, three officers fired on him.

Graves was pronounced dead at the scene.

Catherine Ready was taken to hospital with stab wounds and a gunshot wound sustained during Graves’ confrontation with police. Officers then discovered the bodies of Anne-Marie Ready, trade commissioner at Global Affairs Canada, and her daughter, Jasmine, a student at the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est.

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Court documents obtained by this newspaper show that Graves was made public on Friday, June 24 by Justice of the Peace Andrew Seymour, a former reporter for the Ottawa Citizen.

Graves had been charged with three counts of criminal harassment, assault and sexual assault for offenses committed between early March and mid-June.

He was released on a $2,000 bail posted by his mother, Emily, and with a host of conditions that required him to live at home and not enter an area bounded by the path of Montreal, Coventry Road, Saint-Laurent Boulevard and the Vanier Parkway, near where his alleged victims lived and worked.

He was also ordered not to have contact ⁠— directly, indirectly or online ⁠— with four people, including two women, whose identities are protected by a publication ban. Members of the Graves family were not among those identified in court documents.

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Seymour also ordered Graves not to possess conventional weapons as defined by the Criminal Code, or anything else designed to cause death or injury.

He was then due to appear in court on July 13.

Lalonde said the news of the double femicide was particularly painful given that it happened on the same day as a three-week investigation into the murders of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam in the Ottawa Valley. made its recommendations. The inquest heard that the man responsible for that murderous rampage in September 2015, Basil Borutski, was convicted of domestic violence offenses against Kuzyk and Warmerdam, and stalked Culleton.

« It’s horrifying, and it’s especially hard for me to hear, coming from testifying at the triple femicide inquest, » Lalonde said. « It’s horrible that this continues to happen. »

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During his appearance before the inquiry, Lalonde called for a broadening of the definition of criminal harassment and the establishment of services adapted to harassed persons.

« It’s a good thing we have so many sexual assault shelters and centers, but people literally have nowhere to turn if they’re being harassed other than to call the police and to hope that what happened to them crosses the threshold of being a legal matter,” she said.

Lalonde had a personal experience of stalking during a disturbing 10-year episode that she recounts in her memoir, Resilience is Futile: The Life and Death and Life of Julie S. Lalonde.

She said it was « incredibly frustrating » to watch two more women die at the hands of a stalker. “The whole story is so unbelievably horrible: not only that he’s already been charged, but that he was such a young man. He’s 21 and has caused so much carnage.

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