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: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

Suspected car thief bean-bagged by Abbotsford police for resisting arrest

‘It doesn’t break the skin usually, but it hurts so much you might as well be shot’

Mission’s Steelhead community wants second public hearing on proposed asphalt plant

Online petition against proposal has more than 2,200 signatures

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Teen accused in Abbotsford attack on 85-year-old convicted of firearms offence

Brandon Janveaux found in vehicle in Chilliwack with .22-calibre rifle down his pants

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read