The primary difficulty in attempting to obtain an accurate picture of spousal abuse in Canada is the reality that a great number of cases of abuse are never reported to police.
Below are statistics which help to provide a glimpse of the scope and nature of spousal abuse in Canada.
- Men and women self-report nearly similar rates of spousal violence, though women’s experience may be more severe.1 However, the rate of police reported intimate partner abuse (including spousal and dating violence) is nearly four times higher for female victims then males.2
- In 2010 there were more incidents of dating violence than spousal violence. The rate of female victims of intimate partner violence by a dating partner was 672 per 100,000 population while the rate of victimization by a married or common-law spouse was 422 per 100,000 population. The rate of male victims by a dating partner was 436 per 100,000 population while the rate of male victims by a married or common-law spouse was 265 per 100,000 population.3
- Criminal charges were filed more often when the victim was female (71%) than when the victim was male (57%).4
- The number of female victims of spousal homicide declined 55.7% between 1991 and 2010. The number of male victims decreased 44.8% during the same period.5