Wednesday, July 26, 2000
Terrifying view of domestic violence
1.2 million victimsBy SARAH GREEN, TORONTO SUN
More than 1.2 million Canadians -- including 549,000 men -- were victims of domestic violence from 1994 to 1999, a Statistics Canada survey says.
But the 690,000 women who reported abuse in their marriages or common-law relationships suffered more severe forms of violence, including being choked, beaten, sexually assaulted or threatened with a knife or gun.
The men who were victims of domestic violence during the five-year period were more likely to report having been hit, kicked, bitten, slapped, or had something thrown at them.
The survey, released yesterday, painted a terrifying picture of domestic violence -- fuelled often by alcohol and emotional abuse -- witnessed by at least 500,000 children.
FEARED FOR HER LIFE
Kids were nearly twice as likely to see violence against their mothers than their fathers and, in 53% of cases, the woman suffered an attack or threat so severe she feared for her life.
About 40% of all women in violent unions were physically injured in domestic assaults, compared with 13% of men.
"It's very discouraging and it's very frightening," said Pamela Cross, legal director of METRAC, an advocacy group for victims.
The 1999 survey also showed a decline in spousal violence against women to 8% from 12%, compared with a 1993 report.
But Cross warned the telephone survey results should be considered with "an abundance of caution" because women in abusive relationships often don't report violence.
Copyright © 2000, Canoe Limited Partnership.