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A life of abuse leads to tragedy for Nunavut family

NUNAVUT, Iqaluit – Vivian Sula Enuaraq’s family feared for her safety and those of her children.  The 29-year-old mother of two was facing verbal and physical abuse at the hands of her husband.

Their fears would be confirmed this week as Enuaraq’s body and those of her young daughters, 7-year-old Alexandra and 2-year-old-Aliyah, were found dead in their apartment.

Enuaraq’s husband Sylvain Degrasse was also found dead in an Iqualuit cemetary with a rifle lying beside him.

Enuaraq’s sister Jolene Arreak said she was shocked of the news, but always knew something awful would happen.  Vivian never reported anything to the police, even when she was placed in the hospital with a concussion.  

Arreak stated her brother-in-law talked about being abused as a child, problems with alcohol and the suicide of his mother and sister.  Degrasse’s uncle could not explain his nephew’s actions, stating he had a beautiful family and a job but perhaps was sick in the head.

Enuaraq thought about leaving her husband several times during their 11-year marriage, according to Arreak, but could not afford airfare out of their northern community.  She had finally decided to leave her husband and pack her bags three days before the murders.

Vivian’s mother Micah Arreak wrote on her Facebook page,“I am sorry I let your hand go to the guy you trusted. The last thing I regret … not taking the girls with me back home.”