FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women’s Organization Heartbroken and Outraged at Killing of Stephanie Forster: Forster Had a Protection Order and Gianluigi Derossi Killed her Anyway
Friday, December 16, 2022 – (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C) – Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) is heartbroken and outraged at the killing of Stephanie Forster by her ex-husband Gianluigi Derossi. Derossi had been ordered not to communicate with Forster, and not to go to her residence, workplace, or school. Forster had a family law protection order, but Derossi breached it and killed her anyway.
Today, Friday, December 16th, BWSS is taking action at 9 am in Coquitlam (2986 Guildford Way) in front of RCMP detachments and in Surrey (100th Avenue and 152nd Street) where members of Surrey Women’s Centre will be present in a shared alliance and in honour of Forster and many like her who struggle to find safety and justice within failing systems. Survivors of violence can seek protection orders under the provincial Family Law Act, and if they are breached a criminal charge can be laid and enforced under the Criminal Code. However, in BWSS’s daily experience on the frontline with survivors, police and the criminal legal system do not take family protection orders seriously.
Recent data available in “Victims of police-reported family and intimate partner violence in Canada” produced by Statistics Canada shows that there were 127,082 victims of police-reported family violence in 2021, and 79% of victims of intimate partner violence were women and girls. 90 homicide victims were killed by an intimate partner, of whom 76% were women and girls.
According to Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director of Battered Women’s Support Services, “It should alarm us all that rates of family violence and intimate partner violence are increasing across Canada. This is an absolute state of emergency.”
Stephanie Forster’s killing and the growing number of femicides are occurring in the wake of #16DaysofActivism, an annual international movement for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. “In Canada, every other day a woman or girl is killed by femicide. In our province, every single day women, girls, and gender-diverse people continue to face violence and abuse in their homes, schools, workplaces, online, and on the streets. Ending violence against women and gender-based violence remains one of the most crucial and pressing social issues of our time. We need immediate and concrete action from all levels of government,” further states MacDougall.
Angela Marie MacDougall, BWSS Executive Director: 604-808-0507