It is often said that the worst thing in life is to lose a child. Manjit Virk, author of Reena: A Father's Story (Heritage $29.95), has been through the worst. Now the soft-spoken immigrant from the Punjab has told the inside story of his family before and after his 14-year-old daughter Reena was swarmed and beaten by a group of teenagers on the night of November 14, 1997, in Victoria, resulting in her well-publicized death. His wife Suman mostly spoke to the media in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy; now Majit Virk reflects on the social support and legal systems in British Columbia, as well as the bullying and death of his daughter.

"More than a decade has passed since Reena's murder," writes her father, "but a lingering sadness has become a part of my life, not only because of losing my daughter, but also because I see that There has been no learning from that tragic experience: young lives are still being lost due to ongoing bullying, aggression and violence.

"I sympathize with today's parents for the many challenges they face raising their children. I truly believe that if you as a parent are doing your part, you are not to blame for the actions and choices of your children. I consciously remind myself that children have free will just like all of us, and they choose their own course in life."


[BCBW 2008] "Law"

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Reena: A Father's Story