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The Evolution of Measuring Violence Against Women at Statistics Canada. UN Global Forum on Gender Statistics December 10-12, 2007 Presented by Heather Dryburgh On behalf of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada.

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The Evolution of Measuring Violence Against Women at Statistics Canada


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    1. The Evolution of Measuring Violence AgainstWomen at Statistics Canada UN Global Forum on Gender Statistics December 10-12, 2007 Presented by Heather Dryburgh On behalf of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada

    2. Statistics Canada data sources to measure violence against women • Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (police data) • Homicide Survey • Victimization Surveys • Transition Home Survey • Victim Services Survey • Record linkage

    3. Police statistics – Uniform Crime Reporting Survey • Collecting aggregate police statistics since 1962. • In 1988 began collecting micro data from police forces. • Victim and accused characteristics • Incident characteristics • Relationship of victim and accused

    4. Women represent a large majority of all victims of spousal violence reported to the police, 2004 (84%) (16%) Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Revised Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, 2004

    5. Police statistics - Homicide Survey • Homicide Survey began in 1961. • Began collecting data on family-related homicides in 1974. • 1991 and 1997 revised and expanded • Previous conviction history • History of domestic violence • Victim’s use of force at time of incident

    6. Rates of spousal homicide declined by half, 1974-2004 Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Homicide Survey.

    7. Risk of spousal homicide highest for young women, 1994 -2003 Rate per million Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Homicide Survey, 1994-2003.

    8. Advantages of police data • Annual statistics • Standard measure over time and among cities and provinces • Criminal Code definitions • Based on physical evidence and witnesses

    9. Disadvantages of police data • Not representative of all crimes • Little information about victims, ie., characteristics, consequences, outcomes • Subject to changes in victim reporting, legislation, police policies, societal attitudes

    10. Statistics Canada’s Victimization Surveys • General Social Survey on Victimization – 1988, 1993, 1999, 2004 • 1993 - Improvements made to better measure sexual assault • 1999 - Special modules to measure spousal violence • 2004 – Added a module to measure criminal harassment or stalking • 1993 - National Survey on Violence Against Women

    11. Objectives of Measuring Violence Against Women • Nature and extent of violence • Dimensions of women’s fear • Consequences and outcomes of violence • Use of police and other services • Theory testing, e.g. violence and pregnancy • Policy development

    12. Rates of violence against women by relationship, since the age of 16 Percent Violence Against Women Survey, 1993

    13. Measuring Spousal Violence • Threatened to hit you in a way that could hurt you. • Threw something at you that could hurt you. • Pushed, grabbed or shoved you in a way that could hurt you. • Slapped you. • Kicked, bit, or hit you his/her fist. • Hit you with something. • Beaten you. • Choked you. • Use a gun/knife. • Sexual Assault.

    14. Rates of wife assault by most serious type of violence Percent Violence Against Women Survey, 1993

    15. Emotional abuse by current and previous spouses/common-law partners

    16. Physical injury by type of injury Sought medical attention, hospitalization Stay in bed/Take time off Partner’s alcohol use Anyone else harmed or threatened, including kids Children witnessed violence Fear for life Compensation Police intervention - why reported or not, satisfaction with actions Restraining orders Use of informal and formal supports (reason not used) Victim-offender mediation Emotional impact of violence Abuse report

    17. Spousal violence more prevalent in previous unions % (5 years) Source: General Social Survey, 2004

    18. Women experience more serious types of violence Source: General Social Survey, 2004

    19. Violence against women has more serious outcomes Source: General Social Survey, 2004

    20. Transition Home Survey • Mail survey to all shelters (524) • Bi-annual • Characteristics of shelters and services • One-day snapshot of women and children residents

    21. Victim Services Survey • Mail survey to all victim services (606) • Characteristics of victim services • One-day snapshot of victims provided service

    22. Future efforts • Continue monitoring trends through police reported statistics. • Continue to include measures of spousal violence and criminal harassment on the GSS on Victimization (2009). • Continue to undertake the Transition Home Survey and Victim Services Survey. • Continue data linkage of police and courts files and move towards linking across systems to better understand case processing and outcomes of violence against women cases.