Domestic murder case highlights risk of violence against women

The Executive Director of Kelowna Women's shelter is speaking out following the conviction of a Toronto doctor who murdered his wife.

Mohammed Shamji was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday. He murdered his wife Elana Fric Shamji two days after she served him with divorce papers.

"Her friends and family have lost someone who was known as an absolutely beloved person and physician." said Karen Mason. "The world is not going to benefit from her being on this planet all because she chose to pursue her right of not being married to her then husband."

It is a tragic story that sounds all too familiar to Mason. According to a report released in January, a woman or girl is killed every 2-and-a-half days in Canada.

"The unfortunate reality is that a woman is at the highest risk for physical violence and death at the time she decides to leave, or just after she's left an abusive relationship."

According Mason, shelters in the Okanagan and across the country are frequently operating over capacity, limiting their ability to help women fleeing violent relationships.

"There's absolutely a massive risk that some women who have taken the brave step to finally leave an abusive relationship may have nowhere safe to go, and that's absolutely devastating to even consider."