Quebec’s 10th femicide of 2021 happened Friday in Mercier, in the Montérégie. That means there have been more killings of Quebec women this year than in all of 2020, according to the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale.
The day after the discovery of two bodies in a residence on Beauchemin St., the Sûreté du Québec said evidence suggests it was a case of domestic violence.
The bodies of Dyann Serafica-Donaire, 38, and husband Richard West, 50, were found on Friday.
The SQ believes West killed Serafica-Donaire before taking his own life, spokesperson Anik Lamirande said in an interview.
The minister responsible for the status of women, Isabelle Charest, said “all of Quebec is shaken.”
“Our thoughts are with the relatives of the victim and our government continues to work to quickly propose solutions to this worrying crisis,” she said.
The president of Regroupement des maisons, Chantal Arseneaut, said in a statement: “We are often asked how to put an end to femicides, and the answer is plural: we need to act in the short, medium and long terms, with emergency measures, with a change of mentality.”
The Regroupement also stresses everyone should feel challenged by domestic violence.
“Whether you are in the health, education, community, police or other environment, take the time to assess a situation where you feel a woman is under control by a spouse. Never hesitate to raise a flag, because you may be the only ones able to do it,” Arseneault said.
Autopsies of Serafica-Donaire and West will be completed in Montreal next week and the coroner will take over the investigation, the SQ said.
The legal aid clinic Juripop offers a phone line for victims of domestic violence to get free legal advice. Victims of violence can speak with a lawyer specializing in family law. The phone number is 1-844-312-9009, and lawyers will be answering calls Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and weekends from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This service, funded by Quebec’s Justice Ministry, is in place until May 1.