Beata Paciorek was murdered last month, her body found in the back of a U-Haul. The three people who police believe are responsible for her violent death have been apprehended, but that still leaves Paciorek’s friends and family with their loss and grief.

It also leaves them with outrage that there aren’t any shelters in Brampton for women with no children.

In fact, a group of local women contend that Paciorek’s situation would have been much different if Brampton did a better job of providing safe shelter spaces for vulnerable women.

So, in the wake of this violent death, there is a march this Friday, June 2, which is part of a call on city officials to make it a priority to create a 24-hour crisis centre for single women within Brampton.

An anonymous front-line worker told Bramptonist, “The closest shelter for women with no children is at Cawthra and Dundas, and to top it off it’s co-ed. A lot of my clients have told me while they are in crisis they feel unsafe around men.”

There are many good reasons her clients feel this way: homeless women are far more likely to experience violence than other women, and this includes violence within shelters.

This is why organizers of the march say it is important to have shelters that are specifically for female-identified people, whether or not they have children with them.

The anonymous source adds, “Women in Brampton continue to be silenced and hidden in hotel rooms, behind closed doors, on the streets in abusive relationships, and subjects of human trafficking and the sex trade. And this is just to survive.”

The lack of shelter space for women without children makes it harder for service providers to make a lasting impact in women’s lives, and sending them away from their city means the women are not near their support systems. This means the current way is neither sustainable nor practical, and it’s why Brampton requires these safe spaces.

The organizers of the march will be clad in pink and blue, Paciorek’s favourite colours.  The march starts at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 2, at Grace United Church. A petition requesting a 24-hour Women’s Crisis Centre will be presented to Brampton City Council, and the event will conclude with a call to action at City Hall.

Spokesperson Betty Williams with Peel HIV AIDS Network (commonly known as PHAN) also appeared on CBC Metro Morning and you can hear the interview on the CBC website.

If you would like to contribute to a fund for Paciorek’s funeral expenses and in support of her children, you can do so here.

 

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