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

VIDEO: fire destroys Pitt Meadows outbuilding

Three RVs are write-offs following Saturday night blaze

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

SHARE: Pre-smoke the sunset illuminated the skies in Pitt Meadows

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

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

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

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

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

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

Most Read