By Gabrielle Provencher, Social Media Volunteer at WomanACT
On September 24, 2015, Rita Prendergast’s body was found by the police in her Scugog Township home when they responded to a disturbance call. She suffered multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Her 25-year-old son has been charged with her second-degree murder. A neighbour described Rita as ‘a friendly woman who took great pride in tending to her property and gardens. The grounds around the home are well-kept, with vibrant flowers sprouting in beds.’
Rita’s killing was the fifth homicide in Durham Region for 2015, according to Durham police. And it is the third incident in which it is alleged a Durham resident killed a parent.  Among Ontario family-related homicides in 2012, the majority continued to be committed by a current or former spouse (43%), followed by a child (20%). These statistics paint an alarming scenario and therefore call for more prevention focusing on children murdering their parents and how the dynamic of this relationship can potentially lead to fatal outcomes like this one.
Special thanks to OAITH for putting together the Annual Femicide List. Since 1995 The Ontario Association of Interval and Transitional Housing began collecting the names of women, and their children, murdered by their intimate partners, as a way to remember victims, honour their lives and advocate for meaningful change.