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February 17, 2017
New statistics shed light on family violence in Alberta
EDMONTON, Alberta– Yesterday, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) released their report: “Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2015” as part of the Federal Family Violence Initiative. The report draws from a 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) consisting of people aged 15 years and older, in addition to police-reported data, crime reporting and homicide surveys.
Jan Reimer, Executive Director of Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) said of the report: “while these results are crucially important to our understanding of risk-factors relating to victimization, we also recognize that self-reporting surveys and police data do not necessarily reveal the full extent of family violence, since many instances go unreported and survivors may not feel comfortable disclosing their experiences.”
The report confirms that women still face significantly higher victimization rates of intimate partner violence than men: four out of five victims of police-reported intimate partner violence were women. Women also reportedly face intimate partner sexual assault at a rate 36 times higher than men, and remain at higher risk of family-related homicide relative to men (5.3 female victims per 1 million population versus 3.8 male victims per 1 million).
Alberta has seen a 2% increase in family violence since 2014 and currently ranks 3rd highest out of all Canadian provinces for its rate of intimate partner violence. Although sexual assaults reportedly decreased in Alberta, the rate of physical assaults increased by 3%.
Alberta also ranks 3rd highest among the Canadian provinces for its rate of family violence against seniors. The report shows that the rate of family violence against seniors is increasing for both men and women across Canada. Among senior victims, women were most often victimized by a spouse, while men were most often victimized by an adult child.
The report points out that identifying child victims is particularly challenging, since children may be unaware when they are victims of abuse and may not know how to seek help. The survey found that one-third of Canadians over the age of fifteen have experienced abuse as a child, and female children experienced sexual abuse at a rate that was four times higher than male children.
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) supports member shelters and works together to end domestic violence and abuse. ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity.
Jan Reimer, Executive Director
via Sarah Dawson at (780) 456-7000 Ext 227