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

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

West Coast restaurateurs feeding the front-line

“My community was my main focus out of the gate.”

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read