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Woman Abuse Awareness Month

November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario.  According to the Ontario Women’s Directorate , 7% of Ontario women living in a common-law or marital relationship reported experiencing physical/sexual assault by a spousal partner at least once between 1994 and 2004, yet less than one quarter of victims of spousal violence report to the police.

The statistics below demonstrate the importance of Woman Abuse Awareness Month.  They are taken from “the facts about violence against women”  by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
  • On any given day in Canada, more than 3,000 women (along with their 2,500 children) are living in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence.
  • On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. In 2009, 67 women were murdered by a current or former spouse or boyfriend.
  • 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.
  • As of 2010, there were 582 known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.Both Amnesty International and the United Nations have called upon the Canadian government to take action on this issue, without success.
  • In just one year in Canada, 427,000 women over the age of 15 reported they had been sexually assaulted. Since only about 10% of all sexual assaults are reported to the police, the actual number is much higher
  • About 80% of sex trafficking victims in Canada are women and girls.
  • 61% of all Canadians say they personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.
  • More than one in ten Canadian women say they have been stalked by someone in a way that made them fear for their life.
  • The cost of violence against women in Canada for health care, criminal justice, social services, and lost wages and productivity has been calculated at $4.2 billion per year.

Wondering what YOU can do to prevent Violence Against Women?  Here are some of our suggestions:

  1. Recognize inequality and encourage change
  2. Confront sexism, racism, ableism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and all forms of oppression
  3. Support women and children to empower themselves, to take control of their own bodies, wages and lives.
  4. Advocate for ending violence, poverty, homelessness and the oppression of women and children.

In the meantime, here are some great sites with more information about what YOU can do to prevent Violence Against Women:

Canadian Women’s Foundation

UNiTE to End Violence Against Women

UNIFEM Violence Against Women


Status of Women Canada