When you have a child, adult, mother, father, brother, sister or friend go missing that is a prostitute, drug addict, suffering from mental health issues or homeless, it’s very hard to get the publicity you need in order to find your missing loved one. I am glad they are having an inquiry into all the missing women that went missing and were murdered by Willy Pickton over two decades. The public needs to be aware of the frustration the families dealt with and are still dealing with on a daily basis. I can remember in the early 80’s hearing about the Farm called Piggys Palace. I think I even heard some people talking about partying at that location. The families of these missing women tried in vain to get the police to listen to their concerns but their daughters/sisters/mothers were not considered important enough to be alarmed that they were missing.
I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and heartache that these families live with but have felt just a touch of it at times. Our son Michael went missing over five years ago. So many times when people find out our son is missing they will ask “What happened? Where did he go missing from?”I will explain that our son was schizophrenic and had just been released from the hospital. I have actually had people make the waving motion with their hand as if to brush it off since our son was mentally ill. I want to scream What difference does that make? He is still our son, our children’s brother, we still love him and miss him every day. Does the fact that he is mentally ill take away the fact the is loved and missed by his family and friends? And just because someone has a mental illness does not have to be the reason they went missing. The easy way out for many is to say he obviously committed suicide since he was mentally ill. Of course that is a very real possibility but there are so many young healthy men, just in the prime of their lives, that have gone missing from across Canada and there is no explanation.
We need to start treating every missing person as the same, whether you are rich, poor, have mental health issues, a street person or drug addict.
- Families of missing women say police ignored the disappearances (canada.com)
- Police lax in tracking missing women, families say (canada.com)
- Inquiry witness was only 8 when she began to learn the grotesque details of her mother’s death (theprovince.com)
- Missing Women inquiry to hear from families of victims of serial killer Robert Pickton (calgaryherald.com)
- Stigma, Mental Illness and Shame (psychcentral.com)