Statistics Canada released a report this week called Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2014
"Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile is an annual
report produced by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics under the
Federal Family Violence Initiative. Since 1998, this annual report has
provided the most current data on the nature and extent of family
violence in Canada, as well as trends over time, and has been used to
monitor changes that inform policy makers and the public (...)"
"This year’s report also features an in-depth analysis of self-reported incidents of spousal violence, using data from the 2014 General Social Survey on victimization. This featured section examines the nature and prevalence of self-reported spousal violence in Canada. The analysis examines rates of spousal violence from 2004 to 2014, and because the information provided in this section is collected from individuals (self-reported), it includes incidents that were reported to police as well as those that were not. The featured section also provides analysis of the socio-demographic risk factors linked to spousal violence, the impacts and consequences for victims and the police reporting behaviour of victims."
Among the highlights:
- In 2014, 4% of Canadians in the provinces with a
current or former spouse or common-law partner reported having been
physically or sexually abused by their spouse during the preceding 5
years, according to the General Social Survey (GSS) on victimization.
This represents a drop from a decade earlier, when 7% of respondents
reported experiencing spousal violence.
- In 2014, equal proportions of men and women
reported being victims of spousal violence during the preceding 5 years
(4%, respectively). This translated into about 342,000 women and
418,000 men across the provinces. Similar declines in spousal violence
were recorded for both sexes since 2004.
- According to the 2014 GSS,
the most commonly-reported type of spousal violence experienced was
being pushed, grabbed, shoved or slapped (35%). A quarter of victims
(25%) reported having been sexually assaulted, beaten, choked, or
threatened with a gun or a knife. A similar proportion (24%) reported
having been kicked, bit, hit, or hit with something. As in previous
years, women reported the most severe types of spousal violence more
often than men.
- Among victims of spousal sexual assault, over
half (59%) reported non-consensual sexual activity that came as a
result of being manipulated, drugged, or otherwise coerced, sometimes
in combination with sexual assault through physical force.
- Just under one-third (31%) of spousal
violence victims in the provinces reported sustaining physical injuries
as a result of the violence. Women were proportionally more likely
than men to have reported physical injuries, with 4 out of 10 (40%)
female victims reporting injuries compared to just under a quarter
(24%) of male victims.
- Results from the 2014 GSS
indicate that psychological effects consistent with Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) are fairly common among spousal violence
victims, with about 16% of victims reporting three or more of the long
term effects associated with PTSD. Female victims were more likely (22%) to report these effects than male victims (9%).
- For the majority of spousal violence victims,
the police were never made aware of the abuse (70%). Male victims were
more likely to state that the spousal violence had not been brought to
the attention of police (76%) than female victims (64%). When police
had been made aware of spousal violence, most victims reported that they
were satisfied with police response (65%).
- Findings from the 2014 GSS
indicate there may be a relationship between abuse during childhood
and spousal violence later in life. More individuals who reported
experiencing spousal violence reported having been physically and/or
sexually abused as children (48%), compared to those who did not report
spousal violence (32%).
- A history of family violence in the childhood
home was notable among those who reported being the victim of spousal
violence as adults. Over one in five (21%) spousal violence victims
reported having witnessed abuse committed by a parent, step-parent or
guardian as a child. This proportion is significantly higher than the
11% of respondents in spousal relationships free of violence who had
witnessed violence as children.
- Data from the 2014 GSS
show that individuals self-identifying as Aboriginal were more than
twice as likely as non-Aboriginal people to report experiencing spousal
violence in the previous five years (9% versus 4%,
respectively). In particular, Aboriginal females were more likely to be
victimized by current or former partners, as compared to
non-Aboriginal women. Rates of self-reported spousal victimization
among the Aboriginal population have not changed in a significant way
from 2009 (10%) to 2014 (9%).
- Aboriginal people more often reported having
experienced abuse as children, a factor shown to be associated with
spousal victimization later in life. People identifying as Aboriginal
were also more likely than non-Aboriginals to report having witnessed
violence committed by a parent, step-parent or guardian as a child.
Labels: criminal law, statistics