In 1991 our daughter Monica was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Our family was suddenly thrust into a world of horror. Shock and stunning disbelief enveloped us into a fog of unreality. Our bodies ached, as if beaten, while our minds veered erratically from depression to hostility to denial.

The initial impact is very hard to describe. I felt isolated and cold in the days after Monica’s death. The best way to describe it is that I was like a zombie.

That feeling has since been replaced by the desire to prevent similar tragedies from occurring. We all have choices in this world and I had the choice to fill the special place within my heart for Monica with anger, hatred and revenge or fill that space with love, awareness and understanding. If I took the first route, hatred and revenge, Adam would have another victim and I refused to let that happen.

I began my choices journey by creating “Monica’s Story” and several years later the story was created into a film by the National Film Board and has since become the Film Boards best selling documentary entitled A Love That Kills. The award winning documentary tells the story of our daughter and identifies the warning signs symptomatic to abusive relationships.

Today we at the Speers Society have worked diligently to create an abuse prevention program for youth that emphasizes respect and safety for young women and young men within any of their relationships. Our abuse prevention program is entitled CHOICES for Positive Youth Relationships. The Choices program includes A Love That Kills and an instructional guide which is linked to specific High School curriculum.

As a parent I feel that we must give our children guidance, information, awareness and knowledge about positive relationships. We must teach our children that abuse is not acceptable in any ethnic, racial, sexual or social economic group in our society.

If your child has been abused you will likely be launched into unfamiliar territory. This is a difficult and confusing time with many mixed emotions for all concerned. You may have many questions and may be uncertain where to turn for assistance and support. Please remember that you are not alone. There is help for you and your child within your community. Police, Victim Services, Kids Help Phone, Parents Help Line, Psychology Association, Counselors and many more resources for you to tap into.

My journey has forced me to take roads that I did not want to take however by walking along those roads I have learned many life lessons and I would like to pass them onto you.

  1. never give up
  2. listen carefully to your child
  3. try not to be judgmental - criticize the behavior of the person that is causing your child grief rather then the person
  4. watch for changes within your child behavior – sadness, isolating themselves, anger for no apparent reason, criticizing others, lashing out physically
  5. believe what your child is saying


  • is your child being isolated from her/his friends or family
  • is someone intimidating your child
  • has someone threatened your child
  • has someone verbally abused your child
  • has someone harassed your child
  • has someone physically hurt your child

Listening, believing unconditionally, and caring can make a huge difference in how this experience impacts your child.