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Ottawa police reviewing error after ‘femicide’ edited out of bulletin

September 24, 2022

CBC speaks to Kirsten Mercer about the importance of using the word “femicide”

The CBC reports that Ottawa police are reviewing what happened when a social media post about the murders of women this year was edited to remove the word “femicide.”

The CBC spoke to Kirsten Mercer:

Kirsten Mercer is a lawyer who represented EVA Renfrew County, a coalition of gender-based violence organizations that had standing at the Wilno femicides inquest.

Seven years to the week of those killings, Mercer is once again advocating for the right terms in the right situations.

“The reason that using that language when it’s appropriate matters is because it brings us into the realm of understanding that a killing, which is obviously awful in and of itself, has an additional element to it. It introduces an aspect that is in the realm of a hate crime,” Mercer said.

“We understand that there are a number of different definitions, but we understand femicide to mean the killing of a woman or girl because she is a woman or girl. And so the reason it’s important and the reason it was the focus of some attention at the inquest is because if we don’t properly name the problem. We are limiting our ability to address it.”

Read the entire article here.


Kirsten Mercer

Practice Areas

Human Rights Law