Winnipeg Woman’s Death Prompts Pledge To Make Protection Orders Easier To Obtain

Selena Rose Keeper, 20, was found badly injured outside a home on Flora Avenue in Winnipeg's North End on Oct. 8. She died in hospital. (Instagram)

Selena Rose Keeper, 20, was found badly injured outside a home on Flora Avenue in Winnipeg’s North End on Oct. 8. She died in hospital. (Instagram)

CBC News

Manitoba government will consult people who have applied for protection orders

The violent death of a Winnipeg woman who had unsuccessfully sought a protection order against her alleged killer has prompted the Manitoba government to promise it will make it easier for people at risk to obtain such orders.

The province is sending online questionnaires this month to individuals who have applied for a protection order or helped someone apply for one.

Kerri Irvin-Ross and Gord Mackintosh

Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross, left, listens as Attorney General Gord Mackintosh speaks to reporters in Winnipeg on Monday. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Their feedback will help strengthen provincial laws related to how protection orders are issued, Attorney General Gord Mackintosh and Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced Monday.

“Recent events, including the tragic death of a young woman, have shown protective orders aren’t always as accessible as they should be,” Mackintosh said in a news release.

“We want to hear from Manitobans who’ve had experience applying for protection orders. With their help and through consultations with police, justice officials and community groups, we will improve the process and better protect Manitobans who are at risk of family violence.”

‘Keep Ray away from me,’ victim wrote

The announcement came following the death of 20-year-old Selena Rose Keeper, who was found beaten outside a North End home on Oct. 8. She later died of her injuries in hospital.

Ray William Everett, also 20, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with her death.

Court records show Keeper had sought a protection order against Everett in May, detailing two years of physical abuse she claimed to have suffered.

“I want to keep Ray away from me,” Keeper wrote on the 13th question of her protection order application.

However, her application was marked dismissed a day after it was filed. It is not clear why it was dismissed.

Emergency shelter, device upgrades announced

The province also announced a total of $1.5 million to upgrade emergency shelters, including those in Selkirk, Winkler and Steinbach.

As well, the government says it will enhance victim safety by offering 55 mobile phones under its Cellphone Emergency Limited Link-Up Program and five secure two-day devices that allow those in emergency situations to press a button instead of calling 911.

“When someone needs help, it is essential they know where to get help as quickly as possible,” Irvin-Ross said in the news release.

“Recognizing that each person’s situation and needs are different, we are expanding and strengthening the range of resources throughout the province.”

Mackintosh and Irvin-Ross also announced a new information-sharing connection between the provincial Office of the Chief Veterinarian and victims’ services staff to identify potential links between animal abuse and family violence.

“If an animal protection officer observes any signs of possible domestic violence while investigating an animal abuse complaint, this will be quickly shared with victims’ services so they can reach out to offer support and referrals, where appropriate,” the government said in the news release.

The province also announced it will give $50,000 to the Family Violence Consortium of Manitoba to design and launch a public awareness campaign over the next year aimed at preventing family violence.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-woman-s-death-prompts-pledge-to-make-protection-orders-easier-to-obtain-1.3300204

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Justice System Rejected Protecting ‘Selena Keeper’ From Man Accused Of Murdering Her

Selena Rose Keeper was found with serious injuries in the 400-block of Flora Avenue at 8 a.m. Thursday. She was rushed to hospital in critical condition, but later pronounced dead.

Selena Rose Keeper was found with serious injuries in the 400-block of Flora Avenue at 8 a.m. Thursday. She was rushed to hospital in critical condition, but later pronounced dead.

By Red Power Media, Staff, Updated, Oct 14, 2015

Winnipeg’s Latest Homicide Victim Had Application For Protection Order Dismissed. 

The justice system has once again failed to effectively protect an Indigenous woman.

Five months before she was brutally beaten to death in a North End Winnipeg neighbourhood, Selena Keeper, 20, was denied a protection order against the same man now accused of murdering her.

Keeper, was found with serious injuries in the 400-block of Flora Avenue at 8 a.m., the morning of Oct 8th. She was rushed to hospital in critical condition, but later pronounced dead.

A Police investigation has revealed Keeper and her former boyfriend — 20 year-old, Ray William Everett, had gone to a residence, where Everett began assaulting Keeper repeatedly in the upper body. Witnesses attempted to stop the attack, but the assault continued.

The victim was left unresponsive outside the residence.

Everett was located by Police and arrested in the 500 block of Selkirk Avenue.

Everett has been charged with second-degree murder and remanded into custody.

His prior convictions include robbery and weapons related charges.

 Justice of the peace rejects protecting Keeper. 

Court records show that Keeper had applied for a protection order against Everett in May 2015, and it was marked dismissed the day after it was filed.

Keeper spoke by phone May 19 to a justice of the peace based in Brandon, Man., and alleged that she had been hit, kicked and beaten regularly by Ray William Everett.

In a recording of the May 19 hearing, Keeper tells justice of the peace Debra Motuz that she was regularly beaten during a two-year relationship with Everett, even while she was pregnant with the couple’s child.

“He would always kick me to the corners and try and kick my tummy. He would punch me. It was like an everyday routine.”

The couple broke up in 2014, but Everett continued to seek her out, Keeper said. Last December, when the two were drinking together, she was assaulted and police were called, she said.

“I just remember waking up in the hospital with four stitches on my nose — a fractured nose, a bruised face and a concussion.”

Keeper’s decision to seek a protection order was promoted by an encounter April 9 in which she told the hearing Everett “slapped me across the face.”

Selena Rose Keeper told a justice of the peace her ex abused her even when she was pregnant with their child.

Keeper filed a sworn affidavit to support her testimony, but none of the allegations was proven in court.

She also said she was concerned Everett had access to weapons because he belonged to a street gang.

Motuz rejected the application for a protection order, which would have prevented the man from contacting Keeper in any way.

“It’s an extraordinary remedy to be granted a protection order and it’s only to be granted when serious and urgent circumstances indicate a need for prompt action to protect the victim,” Motuz said toward the end of the 15-minute hearing.

“Based on the time frame — today being May 19, which is some five to six weeks after the last incident — I am not satisfied that you require protection on an immediate basis.”

The justice of the peace formally dismissed the application and asked Keeper if she understood.

“All right?”

“Yeah,” Keeper replied softly.

Selena Rose Keeper was found with serious injuries in the 400-block of Flora Avenue at 8 a.m. Oct. 8, 2015. She was rushed to hospital in critical condition, but later pronounced dead. ORG XMIT: QR0QdyaSyLvTvaPO7oNl

Selena Rose Keeper told a justice of the peace her ex abused her even when she was pregnant with their child. FACEBOOK

Canadian justice system has repeatedly failed.

The Canadian justice system has repeatedly failed to put an end to the epidemic of violence against indigenous women.

The justice system failed to respond appropriately to Keeper’s request for protection and the level of violence she had faced.

Discrimination against indigenous women is also embedded in the criminal justice system in Canada.

Canada’s justice system must make changes in order to take immediate and comprehensive action to prevent, investigate, and punish acts of violence perpetrated against Indigenous women.