Long before she became a member of the Edmonton Police Service, Detective Mona Gill was a victim of domestic violence. However, the story ends with her not only surviving but thriving.
“THERE WAS SOMETHING THAT DIDN’T SIT WELL”
Mona arrived in Canada following an arranged marriage in India. She was a new bride eager to start a new chapter in a new country, but there were troubling signs early in the marriage, and they escalated quickly.
“There was something that didn't sit well. He was very keen that we have a child right away. Forcing sex on me lot of times, so that I could get pregnant. In his way, it was like ‘If she got pregnant, then she’ll stay at home.’”
Gill says her ex-husband would pretend to use a condom. She eventually did get pregnant and gave birth to her daughter. But that led to more abuse because she says her ex-husband’s family wanted a boy.
“HOLDING ME DOWN WHILE HE PUNCHED ME”
The situation intensified with the arrival of her ex-mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Gill says her mother-in-law would cover her face in the morning so she didn’t have to look at her and have her day ruined by simply looking at Mona.
Gill remembers one incident in the bathroom when she exchanged blows with her ex-husband.
“It went from a slap and me getting shocked and pushing him to a full-on beating. Then, my ex-mother-in-law holding me down while he punched me.”
Soon afterwards, Mona decided she was done with the marriage. She reached out to her family, and contacted her father and asked for help.
“You are the one who arranged this marriage for me, I need you to make a decision. If you want me to stay in this relationship, I will, but I will either be dead, or I will be in a mental institute.”
“IT JUST MAKES ME SO PROUD”
Gill says her parents rallied to support her. She ended the marriage and managed to excel in law enforcement. The detective says she has no regrets and doesn’t need to look far for proof. Her daughter is enjoying life as a highly-successful professional in film production. All the the proof that Mona needs.
“It just makes me so proud because I know that if I had stayed my daughter probably wouldn't be living the life that she's living now.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence:
Family Violence Info Line 310-1818 (Toll-free 24/7)
Encouraging them to contact the Family Violence Info Line is an option. This line provides help in more than 170 languages.
More information and resources: