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VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: NATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE AND ACTION

Posted by strattof on December 3, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Parliament established the day in 1991 to mark the anniversary of the 1989 murders of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal.

They died because they were women.

On December 6, we remember them and resolve to work to end gender-based violence in all its forms.

UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION

The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women 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 private life.” 

The most common forms of violence against women are:

  • physical violence, ranging from slapping and hitting to assault and murder
  • emotional or psychological violence involving systematic undermining of an individual’s self-confidence, intimidation and verbal abuse
  • sexual violence, which encompasses all non-consensual or coerced sexual activity including incest and rape
  • financial violence, involving partial or total loss of control of one’s finances
  • neglect, involving deliberate denial of human rights and the necessities of life.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

THE NUMBERS

  • Women and girls are more likely than men to experience violence and assault in intimate and family relationships.
  • According to the 2009 General Social Survey, women report experiencing more serious forms of spousal violence and are more likely to incur injuries than men.
  • According to the 2009/2010 Transition Home Survey, between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010, admissions of women to Canada’s shelters for abused women exceeded 64,000. Since 1998, annual shelter admissions for women have been relatively stable.
  • Young women experience the highest rates of family violence.

ABORIGINAL WOMEN

  • Aboriginal women are almost three times more likely than non-Aboriginal women to report being the victim of a violent crime, including spousal violence.
  • In 2009, close to two-thirds of Aboriginal female victims were aged 15 to 34. This age group accounted for just under half of the total female Aboriginal population over age 15 living in the 10 provinces.
  • Among victims of spousal violence, six in 10 Aboriginal women reported being injured in the five years preceding the survey; the proportion was four in 10 among non-Aboriginal women.
  • Over three-quarters of non-spousal incidents of violence against Aboriginal women are not reported to police.

DATING VIOLENCE

  • In 2008, eight out of 10 victims of police-reported dating violence were female. This difference narrows with age, however: whereas female victims aged 15 to 19 outnumbered male victims by nearly 10 to one, the numbers for female and male victims aged 55 and over were nearly equal.
  • Incidents involving female victims were more likely to result in police charges than those involving male victims, particularly among those aged 15 to 19.
  • Approximately 10% of male victims and 1% of female victims of dating violence were involved in same-sex relationships.
  • In 2009, the self-reported sexual assault victimization rate for females was twice that of men. Of sexual assaults reported in the General Social Survey, 70% involved female victims.

SENIOR WOMEN

  • Although senior men experience a higher rate of violent victimization than senior women, family-related violent victimization is higher among senior women.
  • Senior women tend to be victimized by a spouse or grown child; senior men tend to be victimized by an acquaintance or a stranger.
  • Among victims of family-related homicide, senior women were most likely to be killed by their spouse (41%) or son (36%), while the majority of senior men were killed by their son (72%).

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

The figures in this leaflet are from Statistics Canada and can be found on the government’s Status of Women website: www.swc-cfc.gc.ca

The White Ribbon Campaign is a campaign to end violence against women. To find out more about this campaign, go to http://www.whiteribbon.ca/

REMEMBRANCE AND ACTION

MONDAY DECEMBER 5: VIGIL

A vigil, hosted by the Women’s Centre, to memorialize the 14 women who were killed in the Ėcole Polytechnique Massacre

11:45 am–1 pm, Riddell Centre Crush Space, University of Regina

TUESDAY DECEMBER 6: VIGIL

A vigil in memory of the Montreal Massacre, hosted by the Prairie Lily Feminist Society and the MacKenzie Art Gallery

7 pm, MacKenzie Art Gallery

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