Criaw fact sheet violence against women in canada

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Researched and written by Holly Johnson and Emily Colpitts

With assistance from Melanie Large, Colette Parent, Ann Denis, Sarah Baker, Lina Singh, Linda Christiansen-Ruffman, Lois Edge, Selma Kouidri, Abby Lippman, Marilyn Porter, and Deborah Stienstra

Translation by Roselyn Minka, Loutchka Télémaque and Jessica St. Pierre

Administrative assistance by Caroline Paquette

Distribution by Marion Pollack and Chantal Lunardi

A longer version of this Fact Sheet is also available on our website ( under Publications.
La version longue ainsi que la version abrégée de ce Feuillet d’info sont également disponibles en français sur
Other Fact Sheets published by CRIAW that speak to violence against women are: “Violence against Women and Girls”, 2002, and “Violence against Women and Girls, 2nd edition” 2002. Both publications are available on our website.

Widespread gendered violence perpetrated against women is a flagrant abuse of women’s human rights. According to the ‘draft agreed conclusions’ of the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women (2013), violence against women and girls is

...rooted in historical and structural inequality in power relations between women and men, and persists in every country in the world as a pervasive violation of the enjoyment of human rights …and fundamental freedoms.1
Despite decades of research and grassroots lobbying, violence against women remains one of the most persistent manifestations of misogyny and gender discrimination. Globally, including in Canada, women of all sectors of society are subjected to a vast array of physical, sexual, and psychological acts of violence by intimate partners, as well as stalking, rape and other sexual violence, sexual harassment, trafficking for the purposes of forced prostitution, female genital cutting, and femicide2 This Fact Sheet focuses on information about violence against women in Canada. It draws on academic research, together with community and government reports, but, due to the extensive literature available, is by no means exhaustive.
The dimensions of this violence are just beginning to be understood as new forms are recognised. A ground-breaking Statistics Canada survey in 19933 (which has unfortunately not been repeated) estimated that 51% of Canadian women experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical assault since the age of 16. This figure masks important details showing that women experience multiple acts of male violence.
These results were reported at a time when reducing violence against women and supporting survivors had a place on the political agenda. This new knowledge exposed the vast dimensions of women’s experiences of male violence and helped to galvanize action which led to changes in government policy and support for the work of community and grassroots organizations. But knowledge about the dimensions and severity of violence against women and possible solutions very quickly became contested terrain. The recent neoliberal context has marginalized feminist voices and caused governments to claw back important feminist gains.4
Less extensive Canadian data gathering followed the 1993 survey on violence against women. At the federal government level the main source of information now is Statistics Canada’s omnibus crime victimization survey. It estimates that 600,000 women were victims of marital violence in the 5 years prior to being interviewed in 2009 and 178,000 were assaulted by marital partners in the previous year.5 In addition, 460,000 women are sexually assaulted by men other than marital partners each year. Women are killed by intimate partners at a rate three times higher than men, and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has documented 582 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal6 women. At a time when gender inequality and other structural causes of violence against women are being erased from public discourse, political action is imperative.

Violence Against Women is a Human Rights

Violence against women violates women’s fundamental rights to bodily integrity and freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. These rights are enshrined in human rights treaties ratified by Canada. Violence against women also constitutes a form of gender discrimination. International law requires countries to use due diligence to adopt measures to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and punish acts of violence against women and girls, and requires individuals and public officials to comply with the standards set out by human rights treaties.

For many years, women’s organizations and national and international bodies have produced compelling evidence of the Canadian government’s failure to live up to its treaty obligations to protect women from violence. Human rights violations affect all women but are particularly blatant for Aboriginal women and girls who suffer from historical and systemic violence and disappearances stemming from failures in official responses, colonization, systemic racism, and social and economic conditions that perpetuate their vulnerability to violence. Numerous international treaty-monitoring bodies have criticized Canada for its failure to address the human rights violations of Aboriginal women. In 2010-2011, the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women conducted a study on violence against Aboriginal women, yet the final report failed to recommend meaningful action to address the marginalization of Aboriginal women that contributes to their vulnerability and to widespread tolerance of this violence.
Repeated calls for a national inquiry into the disappearances and murders of Aboriginal women and girls have gone unheeded. A 2010 inquiry by the British Columbia government produced damning evidence of racist and discriminatory conduct on the part of law enforcement agencies, although it was criticized for its inadequate consultation and funding. Nevertheless, its report concluded that “the initiation and conduct of the missing and murdered women investigations were a blatant failure” due to discrimination, systemic institutional bias, faulty police practices, and political and public indifference.7
In 2013, while investigating the relationship between the RCMP and Indigenous women and girls on the northern British Columbia on the “Highway of Tears”, Human Rights Watch uncovered a deeply disturbing “double failure of policing”. Not only was “widespread apathy by police toward disappearances and murders of Aboriginal women” uncovered, but so was evidence of “serious physical and sexual abuse against women and girls perpetrated by police themselves”.8
This violence and abuse is not new: it occurs within a historical context of sexual abuse and exploitation and the failure of law enforcement to protect Aboriginal women. Understanding the context of this violence and working towards its elimination requires, as Kuokkanen argues, an examination of “the interconnections between indigenous self-determination and indigenous women’s rights” and “a specific human rights framework that simultaneously accounts for indigenous self-determination and human rights violations of indigenous women.”9

Key Concepts Defined

Women experience a wide range of different but related forms of violence:

  • Physical violence – threats of violence, hitting with fists or weapons, kicking, slapping, beating, pushing, grabbing, strangling, choking, burning, and similar acts

  • Sexual violence – rape, attempted rape, and any other form of sexual activity that is non-consensual or achieved through coercion, intimidation, force, or the threat of force

  • Sexual harassment – unwanted sexual attention, pressure to comply with a sexually-oriented request in exchange for needed

goods, threat of reprisals for refusal to comply with a sexually-oriented request, degrading and demeaning comments and gestures of a sexual nature in public or private places, public display of sexually offensive material

  • Psychological abuse, emotional abuse, controlling behaviour – name calling, insults, humiliation, destruction of personal property, forced isolation, and similar acts designed to demean or restrict a woman’s freedom and independence

  • Financial abuse – limiting access to family or personal resources, depriving a woman of the wages she has earned, or preventing her from working outside the home

  • Criminal harassment (stalking) – unwanted surveillance such as following or communicating, watching someone’s home or workplace, or direct threats to a third persons that cause a person to fear for their safety or the safety of someone else

  • Femicide /feminicide – gender-based killing of women; for example, intimate partner homicide

  • Systemic violations of a group’s collective rights which “put the rights of individual… women of the group at risk”10 – “neoliberalism and development aggression, violence in the name of tradition, state and domestic violence, militarization and armed conflict, migration and displacement, and HIV/AIDS”11

  • Various other forms including, but not restricted to, trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, sexual slavery, female genital mutilation/cutting, sex selective abortion, female infanticide, and early and forced marriage.

There are a wide variety of terms associated with violence against women, each with its own specific implications

For the purposes of this Fact Sheet, the term ‘intimate partner violence’ refers to physical and sexual violence, stalking, psychological/emotional abuse, controlling behaviours, and femicide perpetrated by current and previous intimate partners whether or not they are married or cohabitating. ‘Marital partners’ includes married and common-law partners and excludes dates and boyfriends. The term ‘sexual violence’ describes acts of rape, attempted rape, and other types of unwanted sexual acts involving coercion, intimidation, threats or violence. ‘Rape’ refers specifically to acts of penetration without the woman’s consent.

The gender parity controversy

Gender symmetry in acts of intimate partner violence is an idea based on the belief that women and men perpetrate intimate partner violence at the same rate.12 This reading of the research ignores details which show that the types of violence experienced by women and men are vastly different. According to Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey (GSS), women are much more likely than men to report marital or intimate partner violence, they experience more variation than men in patterns of violence and abuse. They also have higher levels of fear and injury than men.13 Other researchers confirm that violence perpetrated by men against women is more likely to involve a pattern of physical violence and intimidation, emotional abuse, and control, often continuing after the women leave.

Data Challenges Lead to an Underestimation of Violence Against Women

Despite improvements in research methodologies, driven largely by feminist researchers for the past thirty years, much of women’s experiences of violence remain hidden.

Police statistics are a common source of information on violence against women, but they cannot provide valid estimates of the prevalence of violence because only 8 per cent of sexual assaults and only 30% of women affected by marital violence report to the police.14 Furthermore, police exercise discretion when deciding whether to proceed with an investigation and often fail to take these crimes seriously. Police also tend to report a series of ongoing, related incidents of partner violence as one single event and this, too, misrepresents the cyclical nature of this violence.15
Population surveys are a key source of data on violence against women. The 1993 Violence Against Women Survey16 was an example of a population survey dedicated to this topic. The General Social Survey (GSS) on victimization covers many topics, including sexual assault and a module of questions on ‘spousal’ violence. Conducted every five years by Statistics Canada, the GSS interviews a random sample of approximately 25,000 adults age 15 and older and so avoids the problems inherent in police statistics. Yet there are several limitations related to how the survey is conducted and the sample size.

Prevalence and Dimensions

The prevalence of intimate partner violence against women in Canada
Violence against women in intimate relationships continues to affect large numbers of women. The 2009 GSS found that 6% of Canadian women living in a marital or common-law relationship experienced physical or sexual assault by a partner during the previous five years. Between 2000 and 2009, being killed by intimate partners accounted for 49% of all femicides (of women), but only 7% of all homicides (of men).17 In 2010, 70% of dating violence victims and 81% of marital violence victims were female. Altogether, intimate partners account for a much larger share of all violent crimes against women (55% for women and 22% for men).18
The prevalence of sexual violence against women in Canada
Canadian women reported 460,000 incidents of sexual violence by persons other than marital partners to the 2009 GSS during the one-year period studied. This rate of 33 per 1,000 women has not changed since the early 1990s. In over half of these sexual assaults, the perpetrator was a friend, acquaintance, or neighbour of the victim.19
Among adult victims of sexual assault reported to police, 92% are women.20 Although sexual assault at the lowest level (that is, level (I), without

weapons, bodily harm, or multiple perpetrators) is usually recorded by the police, women’s reports on the anonymous GSS survey and independent research indicate that sexual assault is not accurately recorded. Many sexual assaults that meet the criteria for levels II or III are classified by police as level I.21

Sexual exploitation and trafficking are difficult issues to study because they are clandestine activities. The RCMP estimates that approximately 600 women and children are trafficked into Canada each year for sexual exploitation. This figure fails to account for the women and children trafficked within Canada, the majority of whom are Aboriginal.22
Contexts and Contributing Factors
Violence against women is “never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable”23; however, it is “understandable” since we now know a great deal about its root causes and social conditions. Risk factors at the level of individuals are only part of the explanation: broader community and social factors such as poverty, sexism, racism, and deeply entrenched attitudes that tolerate violence towards women and excuse the behaviour of perpetrators24 play critical roles.
Without necessarily being direct causes of violence, some factors interact with gender to raise risks of victimization. For example, younger women under the age of 25 experience the highest incidence of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, femicide, and criminal harassment (stalking).25 Aging, pregnancy, and disability also present situations of vulnerability for women. Women over the age of 65 are more likely than men of the same age to be victims of violence by marital partners. Over a 5 year period, 63,300 or 11 percent of women experienced assault from a marital partner while pregnant.26
Research on violence against women with disabilities is in its infancy. The 2009 GSS shows that women with an activity limitation, such as a condition or health problem that restricts her activities, had rates of marital violence almost twice as high as other women.27 The DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada reports that women with disabilities experience the same types of violence as other women, but are vulnerable to additional types of abuse specific to their disability and face complex barriers to obtaining help.28 For example, women with disabilities experience emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by health care providers and others on whom they rely for support, as well as higher rates of emotional abuse from both strangers and other family members. They may be prevented from using assistive devices. Because it is often assumed that women with disabilities do not have intimate relationships, partner violence is especially hidden. Women with disabilities also are vulnerable to sexual abuse associated with violations of privacy, sexual assaults by staff and other residents of institutions, forced abortion, and forced sterilization. When police investigate sexual assault and other forms of violence, they often consider the mental and physical abilities of women in establishing the perpetrator’s role in the assault, which can lead to victim blaming.
Alcohol and drugs are commonly found to be associated with women’s victimization but they are not causes of violence. They are factors that increase women’s vulnerability and are frequently used to render women incapable of defending themselves. Alcohol consumption creates a societal double standard whereby women are often held responsible for their own victimization when they’ve been drinking while intoxication reduces men’s responsibility as perpetrators.
Women in male-dominated work environments are vulnerable to sexual harassment and violence, as illustrated within both the RCMP29 and the Canadian military.30 Research suggests that male-dominated hierarchical institutions and war-related experiences may influence the perpetration of marital violence.
Women who work in the sex industry are especially vulnerable to violence, including murders which are often uncounted and unsolved.31
Aboriginal women face interconnected disadvantage due to the intergenerational legacies of racism, colonization, residential schools, and cultural devaluation that contribute to vulnerability to intimate partner violence, sexual violence, femicide, and the normalization of this violence.32 Although violence against women is rarely considered a hate crime, a 2013 beating and sexual assault of an Aboriginal woman in Thunder Bay, Ontario in the context of racism around the Idle No More movement is being treated by police as a hate crime.33
The 2004 Nunavik Inuit Health Survey in the Arctic region of Quebec found that half of women experienced sexual violence or attempted sexual violence in childhood, and one-quarter have experienced the same as an adult. One-third of these women identified the perpetrator as an intimate partner.34 The lack of basic health and social services in most Inuit communities, combined with a housing crisis, unemployment, and poverty, exacerbates family tensions, often culminating in partner violence. In 2011, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples expressed deep concern about “the dire social and economic condition of the Attawapiskat First Nation, which exemplifies the conditions of many aboriginal communities in the country”.35
Many immigrants and refugees come to Canada having experienced the trauma of war and displacement which may be linked to experiences with family problems, including family violence. For refugee and immigrant families, the pressure to maintain their culture, traditions, language, and religious practices may lead to violence if a member of the family begins to integrate into Canadian society in a way which conflicts with these values.36 Additionally, women who immigrate as dependent family members are at an increased risk of violence.
LGBTQ individuals face intersecting oppressions based on gender and their status as a sexual minority.37 The prevalence and causal factors for violence in LGBTQ communities are under-studied areas. The 2009 GSS contains limited information for sexual minorities, finding only that women who identified as lesbian or bisexual were more than three times as likely as heterosexual women to have experienced spousal violence. It has been suggested that violence in lesbian relationships may be related to internalized misogyny and homophobia.38

Global Dimensions of Violence Against Women

  • Rape and intimate partner violence are tolerated violations of women’s human rights in all countries. In addition to the International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS), carried out in 11 countries39, and the 10-country study conducted by the World Health Organization40, additional details are provided in country statements prepared for the 2013 UN Commission on the Status of Women.41

  • Over 100 million women are missing worldwide as a result of son preference and practices like female infanticide, sex-selective abortions, and systematic neglect of girls.42

  • In 2008 the WHO estimated that 91.5 million women and girls had been subjected to female genital mutilation/cutting in Africa alone.

  • Sexual violence in armed conflict is a long-time strategy of warfare that is only recently coming to public awareness,43 as illustrated by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000 on Women, Peace and Security.44

Constructions of Masculinities and Violence Against Women

Gender constructions play a central role in men’s use of physical, sexual, and other forms of violence against women. Masculine identity constructions are changeable. Their enactment depends on patriarchal structures both in the immediate community and in broader society that grant men greater control over power and authority. They are also influenced by social contexts and hierarchies that are determined by race, ethnicity, class, age, sexuality, level of ability, and geographic location.45

Toughness and aggression are part of the socially-supported normative construction of dominant forms of masculinity. Research has shown that physical and sexual violence against women are more common behaviours among men who hold beliefs about rigid gender roles and male rights of entitlement over women and in societies where there is a strong ideology of male dominance over women, physical strength, and male honour. Mass media contribute to violence against women by reinforcing gender inequalities with powerful images of masculinity that are linked to degradation and violence toward women.

Impacts of violence against women

Women who experience violence face immediate and long-term impacts
Violence has serious consequences for women’s physical, emotional, and reproductive health, physical safety, financial security, and ability to provide a safe secure environment for themselves and their children. Violence can be fatal for women, either through murder or suicide. Psychological impacts include depression, feelings of shame, and fear for themselves and their children. Violence is also associated with drug and alcohol abuse and unsafe sex.
Rape is a violation of the victim’s body, her personal dignity, and her autonomy. Its consequences include physical injury, self-blame, and withdrawal, and, in the long-term, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, and substance abuse. Since sexual violence is often kept hidden, many women do not receive the necessary help to deal with its impacts.
Violence against women has significant impacts on our society
A study by the Department of Justice estimates that the economic impact of marital violence against women in Canada in one year is $4.8 billion, with victims shouldering the largest share of costs, followed by third-parties (for social services, losses to employers and costs to justice systems).
Violence against women also affects future generations: witnessing intimate partner violence as a child can be emotionally and psychologically damaging and can contribute to the likelihood that male children will perpetrate violence and female children will be victimized by partners once they are adults.

Seeking Help

Women seek help in a variety of ways
Women assaulted by intimate partners are more likely to seek help from friends and family than from formal sources such as police or counselors. According to the 2009 GSS, two-thirds of women disclosed the violence to family members and about 60% sought help from friends.
Emergency and longer-term shelters are essential for providing women with housing and immediate safety as well as offering safety planning, counseling, information, and advocacy. The growth in shelters has been steady since the first one opened in the 1970s, but there is a continuing problem of accessibility to shelters for women with disabilities46 and of access to culturally sensitive services, for example, for Aboriginal women. Furthermore, per capita rates of shelter use are much higher in the territories than in the provinces. A large gap remains between what is available and what is needed.
In addition to shelters, women may seek help from police-based and court-based victim services and sexual assault centres. These centres assisted almost 81,000 victims in a one-year period in 2008 and 1,134 on a single day. These figures underestimate the actual number who seek help because some agencies did not respond to this survey.
Women’s experiences of violence and help-seeking are shaped by myriad factors related to their intersecting identities, the severity and frequency of abuse, fear of retaliation, economic circumstances, level of ability, availability of services and other social supports, and impacts on their children. Women with disabilities may face accessibility challenges when trying to leave violent relationships because of inaccessible transportation, a lack of appropriate means of communication, or worry about losing their financial security, housing, or welfare benefits, and fear of being institutionalized.47
Racialized and minority women face additional barriers obtaining help due to stereotyping and labeling, lack of culturally competent services, financial and language barriers, and racism and discrimination. A study involving young women of colour in Toronto found that one in five experienced racism in the health care system. A pan-Canadian study found that one of the most important factors contributing to negative health among Aboriginal people is that, based on their experiences of stereotyping and racism, many don’t trust and therefore don’t use mainstream health care services.48 Aboriginal women may find that mainstream services are at odds with their wish to address their problem of family violence holistically,49 and consequently may look outside formal services in an attempt to manage or end the violence in their lives.50
For immigrant and refugee women, seeking help presents many complexities including fears that reporting violence may put the family’s immigration status in jeopardy.51 Furthermore, women who have had negative experiences with authorities in their country of origin often avoid engaging with Canadian authorities. In addition, women from collectivist societies may avoid asking for outside help if it means bringing shame upon their family and community.
Lesbian and bisexual women and transgendered people may be deterred from seeking help for fear of facing discrimination, or of having their sexual orientation or gender identity disclosed or used against them.52
Women often suffer secondary victimization when they turn to the police, social services, friends, or family if they are not believed, made to feel responsible for the violence, or have their cases dropped arbitrarily.53 This can deter them and other women from reporting in the future.

Addressing Violence Against Women

Making real change to eliminate and, in the meantime, address violence against women requires commitment, cultural competence, a focus on the diversity of women’s lived experiences, and respect for their varied basic values, traditions, and beliefs. Services must also find a way to address the needs of women who come to Canada as immigrants or refugees or have experienced sexual violence in the context of war or displacement.54 Moreover, those who respond or provide services must be aware of their own preconceptions.55 Various organizations in Aboriginal communities have implemented programs that integrate both contemporary practices and cultural traditions to respond to the needs of victims, perpetrators of violence, extended families, and communities. These programs may include talking circles, spiritual support, and counseling provided by elders.56
A recent study by the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada cited the lack of funding as the greatest hurdle to improving shelter accessibility for women with physical and psychological disabilities.

Specialized Domestic Violence Courts

The criminal justice system has undergone major changes over the past thirty years in its responses to intimate partner violence. Pro-arrest policies are in force in police departments across the country and there are specialized units, as well as domestic violence courts, to respond to intimate partner violence in some jurisdictions.

Some have criticized pro-prosecution policies for paternalistically presuming to know what is right for women and by re-victimising them through forced participation in the prosecution process.57 Often there is a gap between what women expect from the criminal justice system and the actual outcomes.58 Furthermore, aggressive prosecution policies increase the power of the criminal justice system and do not always make women safer; nor do they address the systemic nature of violence against women or improve gender equality.59


Efforts to prevent violence against women in Canada have been piecemeal, incremental, and poorly funded. For prevention to be effective, violence against women must be recognized as a gender and human rights issue, rather than as a problem for individual women. Preventing violence against women requires a coordinated effort at the level of women’s social environments that addresses root causes, engages everyone to critically reflect on male privilege, and promotes positive masculinities and femininities. Men must also be engaged to reflect on and recognize the costs of gender-based violence, not only to women and girls, but also to men and boys, and the benefits of gender equality for women and for men.60

One approach to prevention that shows promise in creating change at the individual, community, and societal levels is to engage both men and women bystanders, who are to challenge sexist attitudes and behaviours and support victims.

Public education campaigns can also potentially play an important role in raising awareness and challenging social norms because they are able to reach a wide audience. Rather than holding women responsible for avoiding dangerous situations, campaigns that challenge conventional norms about masculinity are increasingly placing responsibility on young men to avoid using violence. Examples are:

  • White Ribbon Campaign (

  • Bringing in the Bystander:


  • Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin, Ojibway for I am a Kind Man (

  • My Strength is not for Hurting (


Forty years after grassroots women’s organizations brought the magnitude and multiple dimensions of women’s experiences of violence to public awareness and pressured governments to respond with anti-violence policies, violence against women continues to be widely tolerated. This violence will not be eradicated until governments, the media, and the general public acknowledge the seriousness of the problem; commit to addressing the root causes; develop a coherent national strategy in collaboration with women’s organizations, Aboriginal women’s organizations, and other relevant stakeholders; mandate appropriate budgetary and other resources; and commit to carrying through with these programs and policies.

Additional Resources

  • The Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children (

  • The Freda Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children (

  • RESOLVE: Research and Education for Solutions to Violence and Abuse (, ( ), and (

  • Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research (

  • Canadian Women’s Foundation (

  • Le centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la violence familial et la violence faite aux femmes ( )

  • Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence (

  • The White Ribbon Campaign (

  • Assaulted Women’s Helpline ( or call toll-free at 1-866-863-0511)

  • Femaide: Crisis Line for Women Who are Victims of Violence ( or call toll-free at 1-877-336-2433)

  • Canadian Network of Women’s shelters and Transition Houses (

  • The Victim Support Line (call toll-free at 1-888-579-2888)

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1 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, 57th session. (2013). The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls, Draft agreed conclusions, #10.

2 See and for additional recent international material.

3 Statistics Canada. (1993). The Violence Against Women Survey.; Johnson, H. (1996). Dangerous Domains: Violence against Women in Canada. Toronto: Nelson.

4 Brodie, J. (2008). We are all equal now: Contemporary gender politics in Canada. Feminist Theory, 9(2), 145-164. See also:

McInturff, K. (2013). The Gap in the Gender Gap: Violence Against Women in Canada. Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives. Detailed references to this document could not be included in this Fact Sheet because it was published during our Fact Sheet’s final stages of production.

5 Statistics Canada. (2011). Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile. Catalogue no. 85-224-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

6 “Aboriginal” and “Indigenous” include First Nation, Métis and Inuit.

7 Oppal, W.T. (2012). Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry: Executive Summary, 26.

8 Human Rights Watch. (2013).Those Who Take Us Away: Abusive Policing and Failures in Protection of Indigenous Women and Girls in Northern British Columbia, Canada. New York: Human Rights Watch, 90.

9 Kuokkanen, R. (2012). Self-Determination and Indigenous Women’s Rights at the Intersection of International Human Rights. Human Rights Quarterly, 34 (1), 225.

10 Kuokkanen, R. (2012). Self-Determination, 233, quoting McKay & Benjamin about Indigenous women, but is also applicable to non-Indigenous women.

11 Kuokkanen, R. (2012). Self-Determination, 239, quoting MacKennon (2006) about the International Indigenous Women’s Forum. These manifestations of violence have also been discussed in relation to women who are not described as Indigenous – see, for example NGO presentations at CSW57 (2013):

12 Johnson, H. & Dawson, M. (2011). Violence Against Women in Canada: Research and Policy Perspectives. Don Mills: Oxford, 65.

13 Statistics Canada. (2011). Family Violence in Canada.

14 Johnson, H. (2006). Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-570-XIE. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada, 26; Statistics Canada. (2011). Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile. Catalogue no. 85-224-X. Ottawa, ON.

15 Johnson, H. & Dawson, M. (2011). Violence Against Women in Canada, 59.

16 Statistics Canada. (1993). Violence Against Women Survey.

17 Statistics Canada. (2011). Family Violence in Canada.

18 Sinha, M. (2012). Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010. Juristat. Catalogue no. 85-002-X. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada, 9.

19 Perrault, S., & Brennan, S. (2010). Criminal victimization in Canada. Juristat, 30(2). Catalogue no. 85-002-X. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada.

20 Sinha, M. (2013). Measuring Violence Against Women in Canada : Statistical Trends. Juristat. Catalogue no. 85-002-X, Ottawa, Ontario. 29-30.

21 Johnson, H. (2012). Limits of a criminal justice response: Trends in police and court processing of sexual assault. In Sheehy, E. (Ed.). Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women's Activism. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 640; DuMont, J. (2003). Charging and sentencing in sexual assault cases: An exploratory examination. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 15, 305-341.

22 Oxman-Martinez, J., Lacroix, M., & Hanley, J. (2005). Victims of Trafficking in Persons: Perspectives from the Canadian Community Sector. Ottawa: Department of Justice, 8.

23 UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign. (2008). See .

24 Heise, L. (1998).Violence against women: an integrated, ecological framework. Violence Against Women, 4, 263-290.

25 Johnson, H. (2006). Measuring Violence Against Women, 27-30.

26 Sinha, M. (2013). Measuring Violence Against Women in Canada, 28.

27 Sinha, M. (2013). Measuring Violence Against Women in Canada, 60.

28 DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada. (2010). Women with Disabilities and Violence Fact Sheet. See,%20Factsheet%202010.pdf

29 Human Rights Watch. (2013). Those Who Take Us Away, 46.

30 Military Police Criminal Intelligence Program. (2009). 2008 Statistical Overview of Military Police Investigations Involving Domestic Violence, 1-11.

31 Johnson, H. (2006). Measuring Violence Against Women, 39; Human Rights Watch (2013).

32 Perrault, S. (2011). Violent Victimization of Aboriginal People in the Canadian Provinces, 2009. Juristat. Catalogue 85-002-X. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada. Brownridge also determined that after controlling for all known risk factors in the GSS Aboriginal women still face a much higher risk of violent victimization which suggests that the effects of colonization may play an important role. Brownridge, D. A. (2003). Male partner violence against Aboriginal women in Canada: an empirical analysis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 65-83; See also McGillivray, A., & Comaskey, B. (1999). Black Eyes All of the Time: Intimate Violence, Aboriginal Women and the Justice System. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; Razack, S. (1994). What is to be gained by looking white people in the eye? Culture, race, and gender in cases of sexual violence. Signs, 19, 894-921.

33 The Current, CBC Radio, January 15, 2013

34 Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services and Institut national de santé public Québec. (2004).

35 The United Nations Office at Geneva. (December 20th, 2011).Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Issues Statement on the Attawapiskat First Nation in Canada.

36 Baobaid, M. (2010). Guidelines for Service Providers: Outreach Strategies for Family Violence Intervention with Immigrant and Minority Communities: Lessons learned from the Muslim Family Safety Project. London, ON: Changing Ways.

37 Faulkner, E. (2006). Homophobic sexist violence in Canada: trends in the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women in Canada. Canadian Woman Studies 25 (1/2), 155.

38 Miller, D., Greene, K., Causby, V., White, B. & L. Lockhart (2001). Domestic violence in lesbian relationships. Women & Therapy 23(3), 110.

39 Johnson, H., Ollus, N., & Nevala, S. (2008). Violence Against Women: An International Perspective. New York: Springer.

40 Garcia-Moreno, C., Jansen, H.A.F.M., Ellsberg, M., Heise, L., & Watts, C. (2005). WHO Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women. Geneva: World Health Organization. http://whqlibdoc.who,int/publications/2005/924159358x_eng.pdf

41 See and

42 Sen, A. (2003). Missing women—revisited: reduction in female mortality has been counterbalanced by sex selective abortions. British Medical Journal, 327, 1297-1298.

43 Bastick, M., Grimm, K., & Kunz, R. (2007). Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Global Overview and Implications for the Security Sector. Geneva: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.

44 United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security see:

45 Kimmel, M., Hearn, J., & Connell, R.W., eds. (2005). Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.

46 Smith, J. (2009). Disabled women and shelter access: early findings of the national accessibility and accommodation survey. Network Magazine, 11(2).

47 DAWN-RAFH. (2013). Women with Disabilities and Violence, Fact Sheet.

48 Health Council of Canada. (2012). Empathy, Dignity, and Respect: Creating Cultural Safety for Aboriginal People in Urban Health Care. Toronto: Health Council of Canada.

49 Montiminy, L. Brassard, R., Jaccoud, M., Harper, E., Bousquet, M.-P., & Leroux, S. (2010). Pour une meilleure compréhension des particularités de la violence familiale vécue par les femmes autochtones au Canada. Nouvelles Pratiques Sociales, 23(1), 53-66.

50 Bourque, P., Jaccord, M. & Gabriel, E. (2009). Stratégies adoptées par les femmes autochtones dans un contexte de violence familiale au Québec. Criminologie, 42(2), 173-194.

51 Baobaid, M. & Hamed, G. (2010). Addressing Domestic Violence in Canadian Muslim Communities. London, ON: Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration, 31-32.

52 McLaughlin, E. & Rozee, P. (2001). Knowledge about heterosexual versus lesbian battering among lesbians. Women & Therapy 23(3), 39-58.

53Johnson, M. & Dawson, M. (2011). Violence Against Women in Canada, 154.

54 Gravel, S. (2008). La violence sexuelle en contexte de guerre ou de conflits ethniques: l’intervention auprès les femmes réfugiés. Fiche Synthèse, 12. Montréal & Québec: Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la violence familiale et la violence faite aux femmes.

55 Baobaid, M. (2010). Guidelines for Service Providers, 9.

56 Harper, E., Khoury, E. & Taibi, B. (2011). Violence in the lives of Aboriginal girls and young women in Canada through an intersectional lens. Fact Sheet- Connaisances, 6. Montréal & Québec: Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la violence familiale et la violence faite aux femmes.

57 Hanna, C. (1996). No right to choose: Mandated victim participation in domestic violence prosecutions. Harvard Law Review, 109(8), 1849-1910.

58 Gauthier, S. & Laberge, D. (2000). Entre les attentes face à la judiciarisation et l'issue des procédures; réflexion à partir d'une étude sur le traitement judiciaire des causes de violence conjugale. Criminologie, 33(2), 31-53.

59 Snider, L. (1998). Towards safer societies: Punishment, masculinities and violence against women. British Journal of Criminology, 38(1): 1-39; Currie, D. H. (1990). Battered women and the state: From the failure of theory to a theory of failure. Journal of Human Justice, 1(2), 77-96.

60 Minerson, T., Carolo, H., Dinner, T. & Jones, C. (2011) Issue Brief: Engaging Men and Boys to Reduce and Prevent Gender-Based Violence, Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 11; Flood, M. (2011). Building men’s commitment to ending sexual violence against women. Feminism & Psychology, 21(2), 262-267.
September 17, 2013

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