- One in four Canadian women suffer some form of abuse at the hands of their partners.
- Women are at greatest risk of increased violence – or murder – at the hands of their partner during the time just before or after they leave an abusive relationship.
- Spousal homicide accounts for 15 per cent of all homicides in Canada. A woman is nine times more likely to be murdered by an intimate partner than by a stranger. *
- Domestic abuse remains an immensely under-reported crime: it is estimated that just 25 per cent of domestic violence incidents are reported.
Effects on children
- Approximately 40 per cent of domestic abuse/assault incidents begin during a woman’s first pregnancy
- Children are present and witness the abuse in 80 per cent of domestic violence cases.
- Boys who witness domestic violence against their mothers are five times more likely to grow up to be abusers while girls who witness violence are five times more likely to grow up to be victims of abuse.
- Children and adolescents who see their mother being abused experience emotional and behavioural problems similar to children who are physically abused.
- Children who witness woman abuse frequently experience post traumatic stress disorder.
The cost of domestic violence
- The costs associated with physical and sexual violence against women in Canada total over $4.2 billion each year. This includes medical fees, police services, social agencies, income assistance, unemployment, the justice system, educational support and temporary housing.
- The costs of operating women’s shelters in Canada total more than $135 million each year.