Last Thursday, a Canadian veteran who fought in Afghanistan and suffered from PTSD shot and killed his wife, daughter and mother before turning the gun on himself. Lionel Desmond’s disturbing case has triggered an intense conversation about trauma and domestic violence, reported Huffington Post Canada.
Officials confirmed that Desmond shot his wife, Shanna, their 10-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, and his mother, Brenda, before he took his own life.
Desmond’s family members say that Desmond, 33, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a tour in Afghanistan in 2007 and that had received treatment from the military. However, relatives reportedly claimed that he did not continue to seek help when he returned to Nova Scotia about 18 months ago.
"This case is an anomaly if we look at it through the lens of PTSD,” said Ardath Whynacht, a sociology professor at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. “But it's not an anomaly when we look at the trends in intimate partner violence ... A woman is killed by intimate partner once every six days in Canada."
Additionally, some felt that changing the narrative from PTSD to domestic violence is fueling the stereotype of violence against women in Black communities.
"It's a perspective that is extremely damaging,'' said Rev. Elaine Walcott, a relative of the Desmonds and a spiritual adviser.
Lionel and Brenda Desmond's funerals will be held on Wednesday and Shanna and Aaliyah Desmond's will take place on Thursday.
(Photo: Shanna Desmond via Facebook)
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