Awareness and Remembrance, Staying Safe

Canada Still Has Work to Do

November 08, 2018

Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Let that sink in. If you think we have achieved gender equality, it’s time to think again.

Women abuse is still a prevalent issue in our country, one that affects everyone. In fact, 67% of Canadians say they have personally known at least one woman who has experienced physical sexual abuse.

Women in the woods on a trail in black and white

Domestic violence is far-reaching, affecting all of us. Studies show that it costs Canadians billions of dollars every year. In 2016, Canadians collectively spent $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone. This abuse is also having a profound on the youngest generations in our country. Children who witness violence in the home have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children from non-violent homes. They are also more likely to be a part of an abusive home themselves, whether it is as an abuser or a victim.

These statistics are alarming. From the lives lost or damaged, to innocent children affected, to the massive amounts of money being spent to deal with it, domestic violence is something we are still grappling with. Something we must work hard at confronting...together.

This means raising awareness: what women abuse is, how you can spot it, and how you can help. It also means dispelling myths. For instance, why doesn’t she just leave? Amongst the myriad of reasons why it is neither simple or easy to leave, especially if children are involved, there is a vital point that must be understood: the danger of leaving. By far, the most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is separation. Women are 6 times more likely to be killed by an ex-partner than a current partner. Leaving an abusive partner takes time, resources, and strategic safety planning. It is not as simple as many would like to make it out to be.

When we raise awareness of these key points and facts, we can then all better work toward a mutual cause: ending violence against women.

November is Women Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario.

It’s a time when we intensify our focus on increasing awareness, highlighting resources, and creating change in our communities. Every person has the right to feel safe. Every women has the right to live free of threats or abuse. When we all work together, we can ensure we’re supporting safe homes and communities as well as healthy relationships.

Stats from Canadian Woman’s Foundation