Luke’s Place Legal Director, Pamela Cross, in The Star on identifying the warning signs of lethality in abusive relationships:
Last week, a relative of Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji sat silently in a north Toronto courtroom, watching as Dr. Mohammed Shamji appeared on a charge of first-degree murder. Pinned to her jacket was a purple ribbon to honour victims of domestic violence.
One day later, in a downtown Toronto court, Lascelles Allen chose to go to trial to face a first-degree murder charge in the violent death of his ex-girlfriend, Suraiya Gangaram.
The victims in both killings led different lives…. But the women shared tragic commonalities. Both are alleged to have been killed by their intimate partners — men they were leaving, and who faced previous criminal charges for threatening or harming them….
“I think we are quite good at identifying who is high-risk,” said Pamela Cross, legal director at Luke’s Place, a Durham-based organization that provides family law support for abused women. “I think the challenge is: so then what do we do about that.”