Speaking up for a murdered Nunavut woman
“If this happened in southern Canada, some people would be sued”
The article, on Aug. 30, 2013 in the Nunatsiaq News, regarding Belinda Tootiak being murdered by her common-law spouse Bruce Kayaitok, is too brutal and horrendous to ignore.
I feel that someone should say something on behalf of Belinda Tootiak, whose life was taken away too soon, and she can’t speak for herself anymore.
Her two young children, left without their mother, they will both be affected for the rest of their lives forever, for something that could have been prevented, if the services, the law and the community was at her side and sent her to Gjoa Haven, where she asked to be sent to get away from her abuser.
Why did they not send her away? Why? There needs to be an explanation for this!
Time and time again, Belinda Tootiak was beaten severely and time and time again she went to the wellness centre, health centre and to her family.
It seems no one reported her to the authorities in the community she lived in. The services that are there to help people in need of help, why have they not said anything to the authorities who could have helped her leave her abusive situation.
She went to the right places and no one helped her. There is something very wrong with this very damaging situation that could have been prevented.
I know in some cases I’ve seen that when a woman is abused and is injured by the abuser, the services, for example, the nurses, RCMP in the community can press charges automatically.
That should have happen in this case. It seems Belinda Tootiak was totally ignored by all, when she should have gotten help when the first incident happened.
Do not turn a blind eye on these situations anymore when person comes to us in need, report it to the authorities (RCMP) the same day. Don’t walk away from that person, listen to them, they are crying for help, they need help. Help them!
A young woman’s life is gone. Two young children have no mother to call Mom. This is the 20th century, there is help out there, yell louder, and someone will hear you and don’t let something like this happen again.
If this situation happened in southern Canada, some people would be sued for mishandling this sort of case and people would have to answer many questions.
Martha Atuat Hickes
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