Statistics Canada Article on Cases in Criminal Courts Involving Intimate Partner Violence
Over the six-year period examined in this study, about two-thirds of all completed adult criminal court cases that involved violence had a female victim (66%). This proportion was higher among intimate partner violence cases, where 85% of victims were female. In non-intimate partner violence cases, males were proportionally more likely to be the victim (57%).
Among the highlights:
- Of completed cases involving police reported intimate partner violence, 54% involved violence between dating partners and 46% involved spousal violence. Just under one-quarter (24%) of all cases involving intimate partners involved violence which occurred after a break-up.
- Cases of intimate partner violence involving a male accused more frequently involved multiple charges than those with a female accused (60% compared to 44%).
- The median length of time to complete an intimate partner violence case (124 days) was shorter than that for cases which did not involve intimate partner violence (non-IPV) (151 days).
- Most completed cases involving violent offences (both IPV and non-IPV) led to a guilty verdict on at least one charge. A slightly larger proportion of non-IPV cases (64%) resulted in a guilty verdict than did IPV cases (60%).
- Probation was the more serious sentence imposed in just under half (49%) of intimate partner violence (IPV) cases with a guilty decision. About one-third (31%) of IPV cases with a guilty decision resulted in a sentence of custody. Breach of probation, sexual assault, and major assault were the types of offences most likely to result in a custody sentence among guilty intimate partner violence cases.
- Males accused in cases involving intimate partner violence were sentenced to custody more frequently than female accused (33% compared to 14%), reflecting the larger proportion of IPV cases with multiple charges involving male accused.
- The majority (85%) of cases involving intimate partner violence resulting in a sentence of custody had a sentence of six months or less. A small proportion (3%) had a sentence of more than one year.