Cynthia (Cindy) Irving

The body of Cynthia (Cindy) Irving was discovered in her Carmarthen Street home on Sunday afternoon. (Courtesy of Fundy Funeral Home)

There was a sad goodbye in Saint John on Friday, as friends and family gathered at Forest Hills Baptist Church for the funeral of Cynthia Irving.

The 45-year-old mother of four, known as Cindy, died in her Carmarthen Street home in the city's south end on Sunday.

Her husband, Joseph Paul Irving, 53, has been charged with second-degree murder in the case.

No details about the cause of death have been released and Joseph has not yet entered a plea.

But the case has thrown a spotlight on domestic violence in the province, once again.

Deborah Doherty, a researcher with the attorney general's office, has studied 45 female deaths in New Brunswick dating back to 1990 to look at what factors may have contributed to the deaths, and how other similar deaths might be prevented.

She says she found a history of domestic violence in almost every case. "Sometimes documented and sometimes not so well documented. But usually … past violence predicts future violence," she told CBC News.

"So it wasn't just, 'Why would he do that?' It was, you know, in many cases, friends, family, neighbours would say, 'I saw it coming.'"

And while there are services and programs available to help, there is also still a lot of "victim blaming," said Doherty.

"Rather than saying, 'You should get out of there, this is really dangerous, the kinds of things you’re experiencing are totally inappropriate, it’s not your fault, get to safety and here’s where you might go, or here’s how I might help you,' instead, unfortunately, all of us will say, 'Well, what did you do to set him off?' You know, 'How did you push his buttons?'"

Doherty encourages women living with domestic violence not to give up. If they reach out to someone and are rebuked, they should turn to someone else, she said.

"Because there is help out there and people do care and she will find it."

No information about Cindy and Joseph Irving's family life has been released publicly.

Joseph Irving has been ordered to undergo a criminal responsibility assessment. He is scheduled to return to court on April 14.

An online donation site has been set up raise money to support the Irving children  — Brandon, 20, Bria, 18, Paula, 12, and Mya, 10 — now staying with their grandmother.

The goal is $10,000. More than $2,300 had been raised by Friday night.