By Alyssa Hussein, Social Media Volunteer at WomanACT
On February 7th, 2015, 29-year-old Sharifya Birkett was found in the back seat of a car that had been towed by a tow truck driver into an auto body shop. Sharifya’s body was then discovered and her 31-year-old boyfriend, Amit Kalia, was charged with second-degree murder.
Shortly before the murder of the young and “shining star”, as referred to by her friends, Sharifya had assisted her boyfriend by supplying a surety for $20,000. The charges brought against him included multiple accounts of impaired driving, dangerous driving and possession of heroin.
“Femicide is the intentional killing of women and girls because they are women and girls.” Sharifya’s death was not a random act of violence but was an example of intimate partner violence. The purpose of this campaign is to acknowledge that such occurrences and situations need to be addressed before they result in death. We need to remind women that they are not alone, and there are many people and resources available to help. We also need to spread awareness of the realities that many women face in relationships and the tendency to forget that they can be women targeted by their “loved ones” just as any other individual.
As Valentine’s Day is approaching, it is a crucial time to remind ourselves and the women around us that there is always a way out. Money, emotional entanglement, and manipulation are only a few of the factors that come into play in many relationships. These intersecting factors often keep people, especially women, in relationships that are harmful to their well-being.
Today, we would like to remember and honour Sharifya as well as her friends and family.
 OAITH Femicide List
#relationships #genderbasedviolence #femicide #valentinesday #manipulation #endVAW
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.