A group of women stood in Downtown Vancouver on December 27,  holding signs with names of women who were murdered by men in 2022. (Submitted photo)

Fort St. James homicide victim remembered during vigil held in Vancouver for women murdered in B.C. in 2022

A group of women stood in Downtown Vancouver earlier today (Dec. 27) holding signs with names of women who were murdered by men in 2022.

The vigil honored the lives of 10 women who were killed by their male partners or ex-partners in British Columbia including 39-year-old Tl’azt’en Nation woman April Mary Monk who was killed on February 8 in Fort St. James.

Her death is being investigated as a murder. In a Feb. 10 media release, Fort St. James RCMP said they were called to a residence on Feb. 7. When officers arrived they found Monk unresponsive and in medical distress.

Monk’s partner, a 39-year-old resident of Fort St. James was arrested and a homicide investigation is underway. According to court records, suspect Donal James Beynon has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one charge of breaching a release order.

READ MORE: ‘This has to stop’: Community mourns death of Fort St. James woman

The vigil was organized by Vancouver Rape Relief and according to Hilla Kerner, spokeswoman for the group: “There are more women who were killed by their current or former male partner in the province this year. However, it has been impossible to find the information because police don’t disclose who the victim was, or that the man who killed her was her male partner.”

Kerner says that one of the group’s demands is for the BC chief coroner “to publish a report any time a woman is murdered by her current or ex-male partner.”

Kerner added that the group is also “calling on the criminal justice system to properly monitor and supervise the whereabouts of men who pose a risk to women” as half of the women who were murdered by their male partner had a protection order or no contact order in place. “Women do not need meaningless bureaucratic mechanisms that effectively leave them defenseless.” Kerner concludes, “Women need measures that secure their safety and protect their lives.”

-with files from Michael Bramadat-Willcock

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