Toronto Sun

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Marital bliss?

Spousal murder rates declining: StatsCan

Toronto Sun

OTTAWA -- Spousal murder rates dropped to a 26-year low in 2000 but women were still victims in the overwhelming majority of cases, Statistics Canada reports.

Northern and Western Canada recorded the most wife murders and Newfoundland and Labrador showed the least, the agency reported yesterday.

In 2000, 67 Canadians were killed by their spouse or former spouse.

The number of women killed by their husbands dropped 65% nationwide to 6.3 per million couples from 16.5 per million couples in 1974, the StatsCan report found.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the rate was 4.1 per million couples, while the rate was 77.8 in the Northwest Territories, 47.3 in the Yukon and 16.1 in Manitoba.

The homicide rate for men killed by their wives fell by more than 50% to two per million, the report said.

The decline in spousal murder rates may be partly due to the fact men and women are marrying older, the report said.

"As the proportion of young people getting married has declined, exposure to violence in the highest-risk age groups may be reduced," the report says.

In 1974, the average Canadian woman was 22 when she got married; the average man was 24. By 2000, the ages had risen to 28 and 30 respectively.

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