A new report on Family Violence in Canada is released by Statistics Canada this morning. The report highlights that there were just under 88,000 victims of family violence in Canada in 2013, according to police-reported data. This represented more than one-quarter of all violent crimes reported to police.

Police-reported data also reveal that in 2013 almost 7 in 10 family violence victims were female. In comparison, females represented 46% of victims of violent crimes that were not family-related. The over-representation of female victims was most prominent in the spousal violence category, where nearly 8 in 10 victims were female.

The report confirms what we know at Battered Women’s Support Services is that this form of violence is gendered and that the victims are largely women and the perpetrators are largely their male partners, husbands, or boyfriends.  Recognizing the gendered nature of this violence is important in the search for solutions to end or prevent violence against women.  Gender neutral terms, such as family violence or domestic violence render invisible the reality of the gender power imbalances in abusive relationships.

Violence against women has serious implications and women’s access to equality is severely compromised in society when violence against women is allowed to exist.

As in previous years, a majority of police-reported incidents of family violence involved physical assault, which included actions and behaviours such as pushing, slapping, punching and face-to-face threats.

Overall, the rate of police-reported intimate partner victimization was higher for females than for males, regardless of age, with women accounting for nearly 80% of all intimate partner victims reported to police.

Charges were laid or recommended in the majority of intimate partner violence incidents brought to the attention of police.

It is important to note that a conservative estimate has police reports as representing a mere 25% of actual occurances of male violence against women in intimate relationships.  The vast majority of women victims do not report to police and rather to report to friends, family and/or women’s support services organizations.

The importance of women’s organizations was highlighted in our press release responding to the recent release of BC Coroner’s report concerned with homicides resulting from domestic violence.

To read full report, please visit here.

If you and/or you know of any woman experiencing violence in her life, please refer to our Crisis and Intake Line to get support:

BWSS Crisis Line: 604-687-1867

Toll Free Number: 1-855-687-1868

 If you could do something to end violence against girls and women, wouldn’t you?