A message from CUPE Local 79 President Tim Maguire about slain Local 79 member Zahra Mohamoud Abdille.
It is with sadness that I share some heartbreaking news.
Fellow Local 79 member Zahra Mohamoud Abdille, 43, and her sons Faris, 13, and Zain, 8, were killed last Saturday in what appears to have been an act of domestic violence.
Zahra was working as a public health nurse for the City’s Toronto Public Health Division.
The Toronto Star chronicles the steps of a system that failed Zahra. She tried to escape her husband’s violence by fleeing to a women’s shelter with her boys. But when she didn’t qualify for legal aid for a custody battle, faced paying rent on her own, and feared the stigma attached to domestic violence — she returned.
A recent study on how domestic abuse affects the workplace, from the Canadian Labour Congress, shows how prevalent the issue is.
And with the commemoration of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre only three days away, we must also acknowledge the role that gender-based violence features in these stories of domestic violence.
Local 79 members often provide support to vulnerable people in vulnerable communities. It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of one of our own to the violence we work so hard to prevent.
— Tim Maguire
President, CUPE Local 79