As a society, we’d rather skirt the issue of domestic violence and spend our time debating hockey player salaries or Justin Bieber’s latest arrest.
Using the anniversary of a tragic mass murder to forward an agenda is almost as distasteful.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where our government responded to gaps in our social services, so that Sunny Park, her young son Christian and her parents could rest in peace and their friends and relatives could mourn and remember them as they lived, instead of reliving the horror of how they died each year?
Park told police her husband Peter Lee had hit and kicked her before intentionally driving their car into a pole, breaking her arm. She told police he had threatened to kill her and her family. At the time of the murder, Lee was also facing charges of aggravated assault and unlawful confinement against another man. Still, he was released from jail.
The system failed Sunny and her family in 2007 and it continues to fail some today. But many, mostly women and children, are being helped and those suffering in abusive situations should know help is out there. It is not a lost cause.
The government has implemented and is bringing in more specialized domestic violence units and is developing programs for Aboriginal women, men and children affected by domestic violence. There has been increased training and integrated information-sharing systems implemented.
Is it enough? No. And nothing will change the awful tragedy of the Park-Lee murder suicide.
But as a society, we can open our eyes to domestic violence. We can use this heart- wrenching anniversary to shed light on the topic and encourage the government to fund anti-violence programs to its maximum capability.
VictimLink BC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across BC and Yukon 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-563-0808 or go to victimlinkbc.ca.