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Domestic violence: Po Co man charged with murder in the death of his wife

Murder in Po Co
Murder in Po Co

A man in Port Coquitlam has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife.
Irinei Catalin Ghiorghita, 38, made a brief appearance in Port Coquitlam court Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday morning he walked into a Coquitlam RCMP detachment and told police his wife had suffered fatal injuries at their matrimonial home.

When police went to Ghiorghita's townhouse in the 2400-block Davies Avenue, they found his 38-year-old wife, Andra Ghiorghita, unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"She was a good person, a hard worker and a great mother," friend Linda Fraser told reporters. "Her family was everything to her."
Fraser said Andra wanted to be a Certified General Accountant and was working toward her certificate. She said that Andra had many friends in the Romanian community.

The couple is originally from Romania and they have a son together. The son is currently with his grandparents in Romania for his summer vacation.

According to her social-media profiles, Andra Ghiorghita worked as an accountant for Imperial Metals Corporation.
The company hasn’t yet made an official statement.

Irinei Catalin Ghiorghita is scheduled to appear in court July 31.

This is the second, high-profile incident of domestic violence in the Lower Mainland in recent days.
Baldev Singh Kalsi, 66, of Surrey was charged with attempted murder after his wife, Narinder, was found in their home last Sunday with life-threatening injuries.

Recognizing domestic violence:

Violence has serious human, social and economic consequences everyone who endures it and for society as a whole. Violence is detrimental to women’s personal and financial independence and can do serious damage to their physical and mental well-being.

Without denying the fact that men can also be victims of domestic violence, in most cases, the victim is a woman and the abuser is her current or ex-partner. Victims and abusers have no particular characteristics. Some victims are young, some older; they are rich or not so rich; educated or not. Most men who abuse their partners do not exhibit violent behaviour outside their relationship. They are often good work colleagues and friendly neighbours.

When we talk about domestic violence, we only think of physical violence but domestic violence can consist of other forms of abuse such as:

• Sexual abuse, is where the perpetrator is coercing any sexual contact without consent.
• Psychological abuse, is where the perpetrator is instilling fear and isolates the victim from friends, family, school, and/or work.
• Emotional abuse, is where the perpetrator is undermining victim sense of worth.
• Economic abuse, is where the perpetrator is making the victim financially dependent.
• Criminal harassment (stalking) may include threatening a person or their loved ones, damaging their possessions, or harming their pets.
• Spiritual abuse includes using a person's religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate, dominate or control them.
• Legal abuse is the latest form of abuse, where the perpetrator uses the legal system to harass and dominate the victim.

In most cases, domestic violence does not suddenly appear in a relationship. It begins progressively and sometimes very subtly. Domestic violence can be expressed in many ways. A violent man may use physical force, but he may also make inappropriate jokes, resort to blackmail or make unsubstantiated accusations. Sometimes he humiliates, insults, threatens or shouts at his partner. He may control her activities, monitoring who she sees and who she speaks to. He may keep tabs on her expenses and on how much money she spends.

The women, men and children who are caught up in a cycle of abuse and violence need appropriate support and treatment to help them break free.

The key to breaking free, is talking about it. Whatever form violence takes, talking about it is critical. Fear, shame or embarrassment can keep women and girls isolated in the grip of violence. It is therefore vital to break the wall of silence, talk about violence and seek help. This applies equally to victims, abusers and witnesses.

If someone talks to you about domestic violence in their relationship, it is important to listen without judgment and realize that considerable courage is required to talk about it, in the face of embarrassment, shame and fear. Regaining control over one’s life is not an easy thing to do. Each person proceeds at their own rate, and this should be respected.

Highlights from Statistics Canada: Family violence in Canada – A statistical profile. Police-reported family violence against children and youth, 2009

Police-reported data for 2009 indicate that children and youth under the age of 18 were most likely to be sexually victimized or physically assaulted by someone they knew (85% of incidents).
Nearly 55,000 children and youth were the victims of a sexual offence or physical assault in 2009, about 3 in 10 of which were perpetrated by a family member.

Six in ten children and youth victims of family violence were assaulted by their parents. The youngest child victims (under the age of three years) were most vulnerable to violence by a parent.
In 2009, the rate of family-related sexual offences was more than four times higher for girls than for boys. The rate of physical assault was similar for girls and boys.

Police-reported family violence against seniors, 2009

In 2009, police reported over 2,400 senior victims (65 years and older) of violent crime by a family member, representing about one-third of all violent incidents committed against older adults.

Family violence against seniors tends to be lower compared to younger age groups. The rate for seniors in 2009 was less than half that for adults aged 55 to 64 and more than eight times lower than the rate for adults aged 25 to 34.

Although the overall rate of violent victimization was higher for senior men than senior women, family-related violent victimization was higher among senior women. Senior men were more likely to be victimized by an acquaintance or a stranger than a family member.

Spouses and grown children were the most common perpetrators of family violence against senior women, while grown children were most often the perpetrators of family violence against senior men.
Just over half (53%) of police-reported family violence against seniors involved common assaults, the least serious form of assault.

Six in ten police-reported incidents of family violence against seniors did not result in physical injury. When physical injuries were sustained, the vast majority were relatively minor in nature.

Family-related homicides, 2000 to 2009 Spousal homicides

Between 2000 and 2009, there were 738 spousal homicides, representing 16% of all solved homicides and nearly half (47%) of all family-related homicides.

Women continue to be more likely than men to be victims of spousal homicide. In 2009, the rate of spousal homicide against women was about three times higher than that for men.

Between 2000 and 2009, men were most likely to be killed by a common-law partner (66%) whereas women were slightly more likely to have been killed by their legally married spouse (39%) than by a common-law partner (33%). In addition, female victims of spousal homicide were more likely than male victims to be killed by a partner from whom they were separated (26% versus 11%).

For both male and female spouses, homicide rates peaked among 15 to 24 year olds and declined with increasing age.
Stabbings were the most common method used to commit spousal homicide, particularly against male victims.
Family-related homicides against children and youth.

Over the past 10 years, there were 326 homicides committed by a family member against a child or youth (0 to 17 years), accounting for 7% of all solved homicides and 21% of all family-related homicides.

Parents committed the majority (84%) of family-related homicides against children and youth.
Infants under the age of one experienced higher rates of family homicide compared to older children.
Children under 4 years of age who were killed by a family member were most often shaken or beaten to death whereas older children were most often killed with a weapon, such as a knife or firearm.

Family-related homicides against seniors

There were 160 family-related homicides against seniors (65 years and older) between 2000 and 2009, accounting for 4% of all solved homicides and 10% of all family-related homicides.

The rate of family-related homicides against seniors has gradually declined over the past 30 years. In 2009, the rate of family-related homicide against seniors was 61% lower than in 1980.
Senior women were most likely to be killed by their spouse (41%) or son (36%), while the majority of senior men were killed by their son (72%).

Frustration, anger and despair was the most common motivation for a family member killing a senior person, resulting in about one-third (33%) of all such homicides between 2000 and 2009. Another 26% of family-related homicides against seniors stemmed from an argument

You have the right to be safe!

If you or anyone you know needs help, call these numbers:

• The Crisis Centre 604-872-3311
• BC Coalition to Eliminate Abuse of Seniors 604-437-1940
• Kid's Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
• Mental Health Emergency Services 604-874-7307
• Ministry of Children & Family Development After Hours 604-660-4927
• Multicultural Family Support Services Society 604-436-1025
• Provincial Gay and Lesbian Helpline 1-800-566-1170
• Re: ACT Adult Abuse & Neglect Response Resource 604-984-5958
• Adult Protection Domestic Violence
• Social Worker VGH 604-875-5458

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