National Post

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July 26, 2000

1.2 million Canadians face violence from partner

Men as well as women

Neil Maghami
National Post

About 1.2 million Canadian men and women experienced spousal violence of some form in the last five years, according to a Statistics Canada report released Tuesday.

The study estimates that between 1994 and the end of 1999, 8% of women and 7% of men living in Canada who were married or in a common-law relationship experienced at least one episode of spousal violence -- about 690,000 women and 549,000 men.

The findings are outlined in StatsCan's Family Violence In Canada: A Statistical Profile, the first time the agency has comprehensively measured spousal abuse in Canada.

The study confirms the belief that women face more serious types of spousal violence than men. However, it also indicates that men actually experience higher rates of certain forms of violence than women.

- Five times as many women as men reported being choked by their partner (20% v. 4%). Nearly 10 times as many women as men reported being sexually assaulted by their partner (20% v. 3%).

- Almost twice as many women (81%) as men (43%) reported being pushed, grabbed or shoved roughly by their partners.

- More men than women reported being kicked, bitten or hit by their partners (51% v. 33%). Men in violent relationships are also more likely than women to report having been slapped (57% v. 40%).

- More men (56%) than women (44%) reported that their partners had thrown an object at them with injurious intent.

Younger people and people in common-law relationships tend to experience higher rates of violence than do older or married people, the study found.

Steve Sullivan, president of the Ottawa-based Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, cautioned that while some forms of abuse are reported more frequently by men, "no one should lose sight of the fact that women experience more serious [spousal] violence" than men.

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