Ottawa – December 1, 2013 – December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The United Nations defines violence against women as: “Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."
- Half of all women in Canada over the age of 16 have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence.
- 67% of all Canadians say they personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.
- On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. In 2011, of the 89 police-reported spousal homicides, 76 of the victims (over 85%) were women.
- On any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence. Every night, about 200 women are turned away because the shelters are full.
- Each year, over 40,000 arrests result from domestic violence — that’s about 12% of all violent crime in Canada. Since only 22% of all incidents are reported to the police, the real number is much higher.
- More than 700 Indigenous women across Canada have died over the last two decades as a result of violence or whose disappearance remains unsolved.Both Amnesty International and the United Nations have called upon the Harper government to take action on this issue, without success. According to the Native Women’s Association of Canada, “if this figure were applied proportionately to the rest of the female population there would be over 18,000 missing Canadian women and girls.”
- The cost of violence against women in Canada for health care, criminal justice, social services, and lost wages and productivity has been calculated at $4.8 billion per year.
- One in ten women report they have been stalked by someone in a way that made them fear for their life.
Statistics Canada; Canadian Women’s Foundation