Nearly 80 per cent of violence in relationships was directed at women. (Ashley L. Gardner)

Domestic violence on the rise in Canada after 8-year decline

Statistics suggest violence against women, seniors and children all rose in 2017

Rates of domestic violence have edged up over the past year after an eight-year decline, Statistics Canada says.

In a report released Wednesday, the agency said police-reported rates of abuse for seniors, children, youth and intimate partners all increased slightly, with women once again being overrepresented as victims.

READ MORE: Hate crimes in Canada spiked by nearly 50% last year

The rate of violence against seniors went up by four per cent between 2016 and 2017.

Of the 11,380 seniors (aged 65 to 89 years old) abused, 33 per cent were hurt by a family member.

Slightly more than half of the seniors abused by family were women, and of those, 32 per cent were victimized by their husbands.

When relationships get violent

Much of the police-reported violence against intimate partners involved a “history of family violence,” Statistics Canada found.

Fifty per cent of homicides between spouses were preceded by a quarrel, while 24 per cent took place before an incident recorded as “frustration or despair” and 17 per cent by “jealousy.”

The report found 79 per cent of the 933 victims of intimate-partner homicide were women, 75 per cent of whom were killed by a past or current husband.

Wives were also more likely than girlfriends to kill their husbands, with 59 per cent of men killed within a relationship being killed by their wives, while 27 per cent were killed by girlfriends.

However, same-sex partners, whether spouses or boyfriends, made up 14 per cent of intimate-partner homicides for men.

READ MORE: Surrey woman’s ‘tell-all’ book aims to help those struggling with domestic abuse

People between 25 and 34 years old were the most likely to hurt their partners. For men in this age range, intimate-partner abuse was the most common type of violence, eclipsing violence against friends or acquaintances.

Nearly half of all violence against women stemmed from their partners.

Violence against children

Police-reported domestic violence against children and youth went up six per cent between 2016 and 2017, despite a seven-per-cent drop between 2009 and 2017.

About one third of the nearly 60,000 child and youth victims who reported violence were being hurt by their families.

READ MORE: Experts say parents are first line of defence in preventing sexual abuse in sports

Fifty-eight per cent of young victims were struck by their parents. That rate was highest when children were under the age of five.

Physical abuse was the most common at 56 per cent, while sexual abuse was next at 32 per cent.

Sixty-three per cent of child homicide within families was motivated by frustration, anger or despair – emotions researchers said were common among parents trying to control their kids.

In 2017, 20 children were killed by their families.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Charity tackling ‘weekend hunger gap’ bracing for tripling of students in need

Backpack Buddies was serving 1,300 students per week in March, by June that number doubled

Island Sexual Health expanding physical space and workforce

Island Health looking to hire more health care workers for centre once expansion complete

Victoria council pushes for December byelection

City staff concerned with timeframe and planning needs prior to byelection

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read