Brandon University students, faculty and other citizens march in the annual Take Back the Night rally along 18th Street on Wednesday evening. The event is meant to highlight issues of safety and violence against women. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Despite decades of research, education, lobbying and activism, violence against women and girls continues to be widely tolerated in Canada.
In recent years, Canada has seen dramatic cuts in funding to organizations that support victims of violence or who advocate for better policies and protections on their behalf, according to the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.
"We have seen little commitment or effort by governments to eradicate violence against women," CRIAW president Marion Pollack said.
As part of the ongoing struggle to end violence against women, CRIAW has launched its latest publication — a comprehensive, accessible, free fact sheet on violence against women in Canada.
The fact sheet is a compilation of the most recent research and statistics on women’s experience of violence, the forms it takes and the varied impact on women.
Some examples from the fact sheet include:
• Statistics Canada estimates that 51 per cent of Canadian women experience at least one incident of sexual or physical assault since the age of 16.
• Women are killed by intimate partners at a rate three times higher than men.
• There are 582 documented cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women. If applied proportionately to the rest of the female population, there would be more than 18,000 missing Canadian women.
• Younger women under the age of 25 experience the highest incident of intimate partner violence.
• Women over the age of 65 are more likely than men of the same age to be victims of violence by marital partners.
• Eleven per cent of women experienced assault from a marital partner while pregnant.
• Women with an activity limitation (i.e. disability) have rates of marital violence almost twice as high as other women.
"At a time when gender inequality and violence against women are being erased from public discourse, the lack of political action is a concern," Pollack said. "We hope the fact sheet helps raise awareness of the issues and encourages others to support the call for action to end violence against women by our governments."
The fact sheet is available in French and English and can be downloaded for free at criaw-icref.ca.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 19, 2013