Nunavut’s sky-high family violence rates tops in Canada
Rate of family violence 17 times higher in Nunavut than in Ontario
Statistics Canada says that, according to police-reported data, about 99,000 Canadians were victims of family violence in 2010.
And more than 1,000 of these victims were in Nunavut, StatsCan reported May 22.
While the rate of family violence nationally was lowest in Ontario, it was the highest in Nunavut — where family violence was 17 times higher than in Ontario.
In Nunavut 1,132 people were victims of family violence in 2010.
The only other territory or province where family violence even approached the rate found in Nunavut was the Northwest Territories, where — with a larger population — 1,073 people were victims of family violence.
StatsCan says 50 per cent of violent incidents were committed by the individuals’ spouses.
An additional 17 per cent were committed by a parent, 14 per cent by an extended family member, 11 by a sibling and nine per cent by a child, usually a grown child.
Unlike other forms of violent crime, the risk of becoming a victim of family violence was more than twice as high for women as for men.
The main factor behind this increased risk was related to the higher representation of women as victims of spousal violence.
In 2010, women aged 15 and older accounted for eight in 10 of all victims of police-reported spousal violence.
According to results from the 2009 General Social Survey on Victimization, spousal victims of violent crime were more likely than other victims to report being first victimized as a child. This was true for both physical and sexual assault victims.
That survey found children were more likely to witness violence when the spousal victim was female. The likelihood of children witnessing violence was also heightened when the spousal victim was estranged from their partner.
Spousal assaults witnessed by children also tended to be more severe compared with assaults where children were not present. For example, spousal victims reporting the presence of children were more than twice as likely as other spousal victims to state they had been injured.