By Alyssa Hussein, Social Media Volunteer at WomanACT
Vaishali Patel died in the hospital on October 25, 2015. She was found in critical condition in her home due to domestic violence. Her twenty-year-old son, Kunal Bhavan was charged with second-degree murder.
The nature of the assault was not shared with the public, however it is known that the son told the dispatcher, “that he believed he has just killed his mother”. A neighbour recounted that the father had mentioned that their son was dealing with depression.
This tragic incident is reflective of the intersectionalities at play when it comes to domestic violence and familial relations. Although the nature of their relationship and the reality of the incident is unknown, the information provided is enough to call for action. Vaishali’s home was encountering complex challenges – neighbours accounted that the husband and daughter had not been living in the house for a while and Kunal was dealing with depression. Violence against women stems from a variety of complexities and this tragedy is reflective of how essential mental health awareness and services are. This is a call to action to recognize the intersectionalities of domestic assault and promote the resources and services available to families, children and women.
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.