In January 2020, a young woman named Heeral Patel was murdered by her ex- husband in Brampton, Ontario.
Heeral had worked as a personal support worker at the Villa Leonardo Gambin nursing home and had been a member of the LiUNA Local 3000 bargaining unit for nearly a year. To honour her memory, LiUNA Local 3000 made a $2,000 donation to The Redwood in support of women fleeing violence. Members of the bargaining unit describe Heeral as having been vibrant and full of life, hardworking and compassionate. She will be truly missed by them.
“We know that Heeral isn’t the only member of our union and our community who was dealing with domestic violence, but we are determined to do whatever we can to ensure that she is the last one who loses her life because of it,” says Charlene Nero, Director with LiUNA Local 3000.
LiUNA Local 3000 has pledged to find champions in the workplace who can support members when they are facing gender-based violence and intends to provide those champions with resources and education to help look for warning signs of abuse.
Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. This is heartbreaking and appalling. The Redwood will continue to work with partners like LiUNA so that we can live in a country where femicide and gender-based violence do not exist.
We hope that Heeral’s family, friends, and peers are surrounded by love and support.
It is never too early to reach out for support. If you or a loved one is experiencing abuse or violence, they can contact a trained Redwood counsellor 24/7 by visiting idetermine.ca to live chat, by texting 647.370.8300, or by calling 416.533.8538.