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National Statistics

For family violence statistics specific to Prince Edward Island, please click here.

Family Violence and Intimate Partner Violence

Family violence is defined as violence between persons related through blood, marriage, co-habitation (in the case of common-law partners), foster care, or adoption. Violence includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and financial victimization, or neglect. The statistics on violence within the family are primarily based on data that are consistent with Criminal Code definitions.
(Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013 - pub. January 2015)

Intimate partner violence is defined as violence between legally married, separated, divorced, common-law partners (current and former), dating partners (current and former) and other intimate partners. Dating partners include boyfriends/girlfriends (current and former) and other intimate partners (whom the victim had a sexual relationship or mutual sexual attraction but were not considered to be a boyfriend/girlfriend).
(Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013 - pub. Jan 2015 )

  • According to the 2009 General Social Survey an estimated 6% of women and men in a current or previous spousal relationship experienced spousal violence during the previous five years. Of those reporting spousal violence, 20% of women and 14% of men reported being victimized by a former partner. Spousal relationships include legally married, common-law, same-sex, separated and divorced partners. Spousal violence includes physical and sexual violence as well as emotional and financial abuse.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2009 - pub. Jan 2011)

     

  • Data show that the nature and consequences of spousal violence were more severe for women than for men. In 2013, women were five times more likely to experience death, three times more likely to be a victim of attempted murder, two times more likely to be a victim of major assault and forty times more likely to be a victim of sexual assault.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013 - pub. Jan 2015)

     

  • An estimated 17% of women and men in a current or former spousal relationship reported being a victim of emotional or financial abuse in 2009, with putdowns and name-calling being most commonly reported. Women were 3 times more likely to report harm or threats to harm someone close to them and 1 ½ times more likely to report put downs and name calling to make them feel bad. Women were twice as likely to have possessions destroyed and to be prevented from access to or knowledge of family income.
    (Source:Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2009 - pub. Jan 2011)

     

  • According to the 2009 General Social Survey 22% of spousal assaults were reported to police, down from 28% in 2005. Of those who did not report the incident to police, close to 7 in 10 sought support from family, friends, neighbours, counselors, co-workers, lawyers, medical care providers, crisis centres or spiritual advisors. Close to 3 in 10 reported contacting or using a formal service such as counselor or psychologist for help.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2009 - pub. Jan 2011)

     

  • Almost two-thirds of spousal violence victims (63%) who did not report the incident of spousal violence to police said that they had been victimized more than once before they contacted the police. Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) stated that they had been victimized more than 10 times before they contacted the police.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 20 - pub. Jan 2011)

     

  • Traditionally, the definition of family violence excludes dating relationships. According to police-reported data for 2013, victims of family violence accounted for 1 in 4 victims of violent crime. Most victims of family violence ( 48%) were victimized by a current or former spouse, including legal and common-law partners. Another 17%of family violence victims were victimized by their parent, 14% by an extended family member, 11% by a sibling and 9% by a child, most often a grown child.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013 - pub. Jan 2015 )

     

  • If the definition of family violence is expanded to include dating relationships, the representation of family violence victims as a proportion of all victims of violence would increase from 26% to 41% of all victims. Family violence would then have the highest rate of violent crime among all major relationship categories.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013 - pub. Jan 2015 )

     

  • According to police-reported data for 2013 dating violence was more prevalent than spousal violence, with a rate that was higher than all other relationship categories, including friends and acquaintances.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013 - pub. Jan 2015 )

     

  • Based on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, 71% of adolescents aged 15 years and older had a current or previous dating relationship. Of these, over half (55%) had their first dating relationship by the age of 12. While young people aged 12 to 14 years represented about 1% of all police-reported dating partner violence substantiated in 2010, the types of offences perpetrated against young dating violence victims differed from older victims of dating violence. Over half (52%) of victims between the ages of 12 to 14 were sexually assaulted by their dating partner, while the same was true for 3% of victims aged 15 years and older
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010 - pub. May 2012 )

     

  • In a survey of 1,473 New Brunswick high school students 38% reported having experienced one or more types of dating violence, 21% reported having used abusive behavior in a dating relationship, and 47% reported witnessing dating violence in the previous month. 17% of students reported experiencing physical abuse, 17% reported experiencing sexual abuse and 28% reported experiencing psychological abuse. While overall a similar proportion of girls and boys reported experiencing abusive behaviour, use of abusive behaviour and witnessing abusive behavior, differences were observed between girls and boys in the types of abusive behaviour they experienced and the types of abusive behaviour they used.
    (Source: Cameron C, Byers S et al. Dating Violence Prevention in New Brunswick 2007 )


Sexual Violence

  • According to the General Social Survey rates of self-reported sexual victimization were similar for 1999, 2004 and 2009. In 2009 the rate of sexual assault was 24 per 1,000 population age 15 years and older. 81% of sexual assaults disclosed involved level 1 assaults which include touching, unwanted grabbing, kissing, or fondling while 1 in 5 assaults were sexual attacks involving threats or physical violence. In 51% of assaults the perpetrator was the victim’s friend, acquaintance or neighbor. 70% of sexual assaults reported involved a female victim. 88% of sexual assaults were not reported to police.
    (Source: Criminal Victimization in Canada, 2009 )

     

  • Overall the rate of police-reported sexual assault declined from 1999 to 2013. In 2013, 98% of sexual assaults reported to police were classified as level 1 or the least serious form of sexual assault.
    (Source: Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013)


Abuse of Older Adults

  • Based on police-reported incidents of violence in 2013, more than one-third of seniors (33%) were victimized by a family member, close to one in five (21%) were victimized by a casual acquaintance, and just over one-quarter (27%) were victimized by a stranger.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013 - pub. Jan 2015 )

     

  • In 2013, the rate of family related violence among seniors 65 to 74 was 1.5 times higher than the rate for seniors aged 75-84 and two times higher than the rate for seniors 85 & older. Seniors who were victims of family violence were most likely to be victimized by their adult children. About 43% of senior victims of police reported family violence indicated that the accused was their grown child.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013- pub. Jan 2015)

     

Violence Against Children and Youth

  • According to the 2008 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, in 34% of substantiated cases of child maltreatment the primary type of maltreatment was exposure to intimate partner violence; in 34% of cases the primary type of maltreatment was neglect; in 20% physical abuse, in 9% emotional maltreatment and in 3% sexual abuse. 
    (Source: Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect– 2008. Pub. 2010)

     

  • Findings from the 2009 General Social Survey on victimization indicate that over half (52%) of all spousal violence victims with one or more children reported that their children heard or saw the assault in the five-year period preceding the survey. This was up from 43% reported in the 2004 survey.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010 - pub. May 2012)

     

  • Victims of spousal violence who reported the presence of children were more than twice as likely as those without child witnesses to suffer from the most severe types of violence, including being sexually assaulted, beaten, choked [strangled], or threatened/assaulted with a gun or knife. Victims who reported the presence of children were also more than twice as likely to suffer injury and three times more likely to fear for their lives.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010 - pub. May 2012)

     

  • According to the 2009 General Social Survey children seeing or witnessing spousal violence was most prevalent when the victim was female or was estranged from their legal or common-law spouse.  Parents were almost four times more likely to involve police when a child witnessed the incident of spousal violence than when children were not present during the incident (39% versus 10%).
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010 - pub. May 2012)

     

  • Girls are disproportionally represented as victims of police-reported family violence. In 2013, rates of family violence were 56% higher for girls than boys. Girls consistently experienced higher rates of family violence for nearly every type of violent offence. However, this risk was most marked for police-reported sexually-based offences.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2013 - pub. Jan 2015)

     

  • The relationship of the perpetrator to the child in police-reported violence against children and youth varied with the age of the child and youth. In 2011, 68% of infants under one and 69% of children aged one to three were victimized by a family member. This rate dropped to 67% of four year olds, 66% of 5 year olds and 59% of six year olds. By the time children reached the age of 9, family members were less likely than non-family members to be responsible for police-reported violence against children. The increase in the proportion of perpetrators who are non-family members coincides with increasing engagement of children in activities outside of the home, such as school, clubs and sports. In 2013, 71% of victims of police reported violence who were under the age of four were victimized by a family member.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2011;2013)

     

  • Most perpetrators in non-family violence incidents against children and youth are the children’s peers. In 2010, nearly six in ten (57%) of those accused of non-family violence against children or youth were under the age of 18.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010 - pub. May 2012)

     

  • If dating violence were included in the definition of family violence against children and youth, the rate would be 25% higher than the family violence rate when dating partners are excluded.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010 - pub. May 2012 )

     

  • The rate of police-reported sexual violations against children rose 3% in 2011, 3% in 2012 and a further 6% in 2013. Specific offences included in this category are sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual exploitation, luring a child via a computer. As of 2012, %u201Cmaking sexually explicit material available to a child for the purpose of facilitating sexual offences against children/youth%u201D was included, and may account for some of the increase between 2012 and 2013.
    (Source: Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2011; 2012; 2013)

     

  • Experiencing violence as a child has been found to be closely linked to being a victim or offender of intimate partner violence. For the first time, the 2009 General Social Survey on Victimization asked all victims of violent crime about their victimization experiences before the age of 15 years. Among victims of violent crime, spousal victims were more likely than other victims to report that they were first victimized as a child.
    (Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010 - pub. May 2012)  


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