Domestic Abuse in Canada: 7 Facts You Need to Know

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Domestic Abuse in Canada: 7 Facts You Need to Know

Domestic Abuse in Canada: 7 Facts You Need to Know
Domestic Abuse in Canada: 7 Facts You Need to Know

At the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, we offer a safe place to stay, and essentials such as food, clothing, and toiletries for women who have to flee domestic abuse and don’t have time to prepare. We also offer ongoing counseling, support, and preventive education programs, all at no cost.

As we meet and get to know these women and their families, we see firsthand the consequences of domestic abuse. We are passionate about not only providing resources to victims of domestic abuse but educating the public about the shocking facts surrounding domestic abuse in Canada. 

Domestic abuse in Canada

Today, we’re going to share 7 facts about domestic abuse in Canada you need to know. It is our hope that by empowering the public with this information, the critical resources, donations, and funding so desperately needed across Canada will find their way to the people who need them most. 

1. It’s more common than you think

One of the facts that surprises people the most is just how common domestic abuse really is. According to information from Statistics Canada, intimate partner violence makes up nearly one-third of all police-reported violent crime in this country. 

2. A woman is killed every six days by her partner

Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner in an act of domestic violence. Further, of the 83 police-reported intimate partner homicides in Canada in 2014, 67 of the victims (more than 80%) were women.

3. There’s an urgent need for shelters and other resources

Consider this: On any given night in Canada, 3,491 women and 2,724 children sleep in shelters because they aren’t safe at home. 

This startling statistic outlines just how essential women’s shelters and other services are. 

Sadly, this need often isn’t met in many places: on any given night, an estimated 300 women are also turned away from these shelters because they are full. 

4. 70% of people who experience family violence are women and girls

While both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse, about 7 in 10 victims are women and girls. Additionally, women are about four times more likely than men to be victims of intimate partner homicide. Statistics from 2008 showed women are also 10 times more likely to be the victim of police-reported assault. 

5. There are many reasons women don’t leave abusive relationships

Women in abusive relationships often hear, “why don’t you just leave?” The truth is, there are all kinds of reasons that keep women in these situations.

In some cases, women feel there is simply nowhere else to go. They have children, pets, and without their own income, they feel trapped. This is another fact that highlights the importance of having women’s shelters where those fleeing domestic abuse can get the protection they need. 

Another factor that stops women from leaving is the threat of what will happen if they do.

Take a look at these facts from

  • About 26% of all women who are murdered by their spouse had left the relationship.
  • In one study, half of the murdered women were killed within two months of leaving the relationship.
  • Women are 6 times more likely to be killed by an ex-partner than by a current partner.
  • Many women say that they were abused by a partner after the relationship ended and that the violence escalated following a break-up.
  • Almost 60% of all dating violence happens after the relationship has ended.

6. Domestic abuse comes in many forms

Abuse is defined as any behavior used to control, manipulate, or injure someone. It includes physical violence, emotional abuse, verbal threats, or financial and sexual control:

  • Pushing, hitting, slapping, choking, kicking, or biting.
  • Threats towards you, your children, your family, or pets.
  • Using, or threatening to use, a weapon against you.
  • Keeping or taking your paycheque and controlling financial resources.
  • Putting you down, insulting you, or blaming you.
  • Threatening suicide if you leave.
  • Forcing or pressuring you into sex.
  • Keeping you from seeing family or friends, or going to work.

7. If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, know help is available

Finally, we went to make sure you know help is available. Do you need a place to stay? Or just want to meet with a counselor and create a safety plan? Kelowna Women’s Shelter has a program to meet your needs.

In addition to emergency and transitional housing, we offer:

  • Second Stage Housing
  • Outreach and Support
  • Inside Out Violence Prevention Program for Youth
  • PEACE (Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counselling, and Empowerment)
  • Thrift Store
  • 24 Hour Help Link

We need your help to continue to support women and children through these challenging times with these resources. Please help us reach out to those most in need of our help in the community. Because home is not a safe place for everyone.

Click here to donate now. Or click here for helpful resources if you’re experiencing domestic abuse. 

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