New statistics indicate Alberta has seen a two per cent increase in family violence since 2014 and ranks third highest out of all Canadian provinces when it comes to rates of intimate partner violence.
The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) released a report Thursday called Family violence in Canada: a statistical profile 2015. The report used information from a 2014 General Social Survey of people aged 15 years and older, in addition to police-reported data, crime reporting and homicide surveys.
Overall, rates of all types of police-reported family violence were higher in the territories than in the provinces, with the highest rate reported in Nunavut (2,504 per 100,000 population). Among the provinces, Saskatchewan (480) and Manitoba (374) reported the highest rates of family violence, while Ontario (150) and Prince Edward Island (154) reported the lowest.
While the Canadian rate of police-reported family violence was relatively stable from the previous year (-0.8 per cent), Yukon (-17 per cent) and Nova Scotia (-11 per cent) reported declines.
“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,” Jan Reimer, executive director of Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters said.
According to the report, 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.
The report indicated Alberta saw a two per cent increase in family violence since 2014. While reported sexual assaults went down in the province, the rate of physical assaults went up by three per cent.
It also showed Alberta as the third highest province in Canada for its rate of family violence against seniors. That statistic rose for both male and female victims across the country, the report said. When it comes to senior abuse, women were most often victimized by a spouse while men were most often victimized by an adult child.
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.