Silence Deafening When Script Flipped in Domestic Violence Cases

Winnipeg Police Service Public Information Officer Constable Jay Murray (Photo JGJ)

I find it interesting.

The lack of outrage expressed when a man is killed in a domestic violence homicide that is…

On November 1, 2017 at approximately 2:10 p.m., emergency personnel responded to the report of an injured man in the area of Martha Street and Henry Avenue.

On arrival, a forty-two (42) year old man was found who was suffering from a stab wound to the upper body. The man was transported to hospital in critical condition .

Police tell us the investigation revealed the victim was involved in an altercation with a woman near the corner of Austin Street and Henry Avenue when he was stabbed once with a knife.

The woman was found at the scene and placed under arrest.

She was identified as Harriet Jane Pascal (31) of Winnipeg.

Pascal was charged with;

  • |Aggravated assault
  • Fail to comply with probation order x 3

The investigation continued by members of the Winnipeg Police Major Crimes Unit.

On November 8, 2017, the victim died as a result of his injuries.

He was identified as Richard Irvine Gilbert Chartrand (42) of Winnipeg.

On November 9, 2017, Major Crime Unit investigators attended the Headingley Correctional Centre and placed Pascal under arrest.

Pascal’s charges have been upgraded to manslaughter.

She remains in custody.

Domestic Violence Killing

Domestic Violence Persons Charged by Gender (2016 WPS Annual Report)

Lacking in the account of this recent Winnipeg bloodletting is the fact Chartrand & Pascal were involved in a domestic relationship.

That makes his killing yet another tragic case of domestic violence homicide.

The other thing missing in the wake of this tragedy are plans for protests, outrage or candlelight vigils.

That’s because the silence is almost always deafening when we lose men to domestic violence.

Why is that?

It’s a serious question.

Why doesn’t anyone seem to care when women kill men in domestic violence cases?

Where’s the concern from the social justice warriors, the press or the politicians.


The silence is even more disturbing considering;

  • Pascal was the subject of a probation order featuring a number of conditions she is alleged to have violated
  • Pascal was recently charged with a serious violent crime.

The Probation Order

At the time Pascal stabbed Chartrand she was the subject of a probation order with a number of conditions crafted to control her behaviour.

Those conditions were;

  • Keep the peace and be of good behaviour
  • Abstain from owning, possessing or carrying a weapon
  • Abstain from having contact or communication with Richard Irvine Gilbert Chartrand

That is correct.

2016 Domestic Violence Calls (WPS Annual Report)

Harriet Pascal was prohibited by law from having contact or communication with Mr. Chartrand.

Mr. Chartrand was a “protected person.”

A feature of many homicide cases that normally grab front-page news headlines.

Not in this case.

It was difficult to even find the story in the Winnipeg Free Press.

After searching the website, I found a 105 word blurb on the killing buried in an article with similar blurbs reporting an attempted kidnapping, a stabbing at the U of W and arrests of teenagers for garage break-ins.

One hundred and five words…

A Failure of the Criminal Justice System 

It seems Ms Pascal may have been one of the many beneficiaries of the revolving doors of Canadian criminal justice…

On November 13, 2016 at 8:40 a.m., emergency personnel responded to a report of an injured man in the 300 block of Princess Street.

WPS Media Release

On arrival, a twenty-nine (29) year old man was located with serious upper body injuries.  He was transported to hospital in critical condition but managed to survive courtesy of the life saving efforts of skilled medical practitioners and the miracles of modern medicine.

On March 15, 2017, Pascal was arrested and charged with;

  • Assault
  • Fail to Comply with probation

Police charged Michael James MacDonald (39) of Winnipeg with;

  • Attempt to commit murder
  • Assault

Securing a conviction on an attempt murder charge can be very difficult  largely because the prosecution has to prove “intent to kill” which can be a difficult proposition.

Police must seek authorization from a Senior Crown Prosecutor before laying attempt murder charges.

The threshold to lay such charges is high.

The violence has to be compelling.

Less than one calendar year (231 days) after being charged with this serious violent crime, Harriet Jane Pascal, while enjoying her liberty to the greatest extent possible, plunged a knife in her lovers chest.

The silence is deafening.

Insider Commentary

Richard Irvine Gilbert Chartrand is the 22nd reported victim of homicide in Winnipeg this year.

In 2016, the 22nd reported homicide was recorded on November 28th.

The year ended with a total of 26 murders.

Police solved all but one case securing a solvency rate of 96%.

To date, police have solved all  but 2 of the 22 homicides – solvency rate equals 90%.

2017 Homicide Stats

Manner of Death

  • Stabbing – 10
  • Shooting – 7
  • Blunt Force Trauma – 3
  • Not Released – 2


  • Male – 18
  • Female – 4


  1. Looks to me like this homicide was predictable- and was, in fact predicted. The preventative measures (predictably) failed. That’s the state of our justice system for targets of domestic violence.

  2. James G Jewell

    Persons charged…

    Thanks for asking, we added a clarification.

  3. Michael Phelan

    What does the pie chart mean? Not defined. Are these domestic assault victims, or perpetrators?

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