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Statistics

Statistics on violence against women in BC:

  • Over half of women in BC have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 16…that’s more than one million women in our province.[1]
  • Every year in BC there are over 60,000 physical or sexual assaults against women – almost all of them are committed by men.[2]
  • In BC, there are over 1000 physical or sexual assaults against women every week.[3]
  • Over 60% of British Columbians personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.[4]
  • Only 12% of sexual assaults against women are reported to the police.[5]
  • One in three women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.[6]
  • As of 2010, there were 582 known reports of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada with BC recording more than any other province.[7] Research shows that victimization rates are much higher among Aboriginal than non- Aboriginal women. Twenty-four percent of Aboriginal women said that they had been victims of domestic violence in the five-year period ending in 2004.[8] Geographic isolation, lack of access to services, lack of transportation, and poverty heighten risk for Aboriginal women.[9]
  • In the 2005/06 fiscal year, spouse assault accounted for more requests for victim services than any other offence. In that year, 21,197 BC victims of spouse assault requested services from a victim service program.[10]
  • In 2006, 12% or approximately 1 in 8 prosecutions in BC were domestic violence cases. This does not include those returning to court on breaches of orders as a result of prosecution for domestic violence.[11] The situation is actually much worse than these statistics indicate because most spouse assault incidents are not reported to police. (The results of the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization indicate that only 28% of victims of spousal violence reported these incidents to police.)[12]
  • While national statistics on domestic violence amongst immigrants are somewhat unreliable for a number of reasons (including the fact that they are based on telephone surveys of people who speak English or French) we do know that social isolation, lack of information about rights and available services, lack of English language skills and lack of services available in their own language, immigration and sponsorship issues, poverty, and lack of support from their cultural community increase the vulnerability of immigrant women.[13] This has been tragically illustrated by recent murders and serious assaults of South Asian women in BC.
  • 30 to 40 per cent of children who witness the abuse of their moms, also experience direct physical abuse themselves.[14]
  • In Canada, it’s estimated that every year, 800,000 children witness a woman being abused.[15]

Footnotes:

1 Statistics Canada, The Violence Against Women Survey, The Daily, November 18, 1993 and Demography Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa. Prepared and presented by: BC Stats, Service BC, Ministry of Citizens’ Services, Victoria.
2 Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Police Services Division, 2006a; The National 2009 GSS Survey on Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile by Stats Canada page 5.; Updated 2011 – The National 2009 GSS Survey on Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile by Stats Canada page 5; British Columbia Sexual Assault Statistics 2009, UCR2, Microdata, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada; and Criminal Victimization in Canada, Statistics Canada 2009, Shannon Brennan and Samuel Perreault, Juristat Article Summer 2010, Vol. 30, no.2, page 14.
3 Ibid. Divided by 52 to calculate number/week.
4 Canadian Women’s Foundation, Decima Survey, 2007.
5 Criminal Victimization in Canada, Statistics Canada 2009, Shannon Brennan and Samuel Perreault, Juristat Article Summer 2010, Vol. 30, no.2, page 14.
6 Statistics Canada. Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006. Page 24.
7 What Their Stories Tell Us: Research findings from Sisters in Spirit initiative, Native Women’s Association of Canada, 2010,
page 18.
8 Statistics Canada, 2005, July 14.
9 Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division, 2006b Keeping Women Safe: Eight Critical Components of an Effective Justice Response To Domestic Violence, 2008
10 Statistics Canada, 2005.
11 Statistics Canada, 2005, July 14.
12 Hunt, 2007.
13 Justice Institute of BC Light, 2007, Smith, 2004.
14 National Clearing House on Family Violence. Wife Abuse – The Impact on Children
15 Jaffe, Poisson, October 1999