The Evolution of Measuring Violence AgainstWomen at Statistics Canada UN Global Forum on Gender Statistics December 10-12, 2007 Presented by Heather Dryburgh On behalf of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada data sources to measure violence against women • Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (police data) • Homicide Survey • Victimization Surveys • Transition Home Survey • Victim Services Survey • Record linkage
Police statistics – Uniform Crime Reporting Survey • Collecting aggregate police statistics since 1962. • In 1988 began collecting micro data from police forces. • Victim and accused characteristics • Incident characteristics • Relationship of victim and accused
Women represent a large majority of all victims of spousal violence reported to the police, 2004 (84%) (16%) Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Revised Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, 2004
Police statistics - Homicide Survey • Homicide Survey began in 1961. • Began collecting data on family-related homicides in 1974. • 1991 and 1997 revised and expanded • Previous conviction history • History of domestic violence • Victim’s use of force at time of incident
Rates of spousal homicide declined by half, 1974-2004 Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Homicide Survey.
Risk of spousal homicide highest for young women, 1994 -2003 Rate per million Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Homicide Survey, 1994-2003.
Advantages of police data • Annual statistics • Standard measure over time and among cities and provinces • Criminal Code definitions • Based on physical evidence and witnesses
Disadvantages of police data • Not representative of all crimes • Little information about victims, ie., characteristics, consequences, outcomes • Subject to changes in victim reporting, legislation, police policies, societal attitudes
Statistics Canada’s Victimization Surveys • General Social Survey on Victimization – 1988, 1993, 1999, 2004 • 1993 - Improvements made to better measure sexual assault • 1999 - Special modules to measure spousal violence • 2004 – Added a module to measure criminal harassment or stalking • 1993 - National Survey on Violence Against Women
Objectives of Measuring Violence Against Women • Nature and extent of violence • Dimensions of women’s fear • Consequences and outcomes of violence • Use of police and other services • Theory testing, e.g. violence and pregnancy • Policy development
Rates of violence against women by relationship, since the age of 16 Percent Violence Against Women Survey, 1993
Measuring Spousal Violence • Threatened to hit you in a way that could hurt you. • Threw something at you that could hurt you. • Pushed, grabbed or shoved you in a way that could hurt you. • Slapped you. • Kicked, bit, or hit you his/her fist. • Hit you with something. • Beaten you. • Choked you. • Use a gun/knife. • Sexual Assault.
Rates of wife assault by most serious type of violence Percent Violence Against Women Survey, 1993
Physical injury by type of injury Sought medical attention, hospitalization Stay in bed/Take time off Partner’s alcohol use Anyone else harmed or threatened, including kids Children witnessed violence Fear for life Compensation Police intervention - why reported or not, satisfaction with actions Restraining orders Use of informal and formal supports (reason not used) Victim-offender mediation Emotional impact of violence Abuse report
Spousal violence more prevalent in previous unions % (5 years) Source: General Social Survey, 2004
Women experience more serious types of violence Source: General Social Survey, 2004
Violence against women has more serious outcomes Source: General Social Survey, 2004
Transition Home Survey • Mail survey to all shelters (524) • Bi-annual • Characteristics of shelters and services • One-day snapshot of women and children residents
Victim Services Survey • Mail survey to all victim services (606) • Characteristics of victim services • One-day snapshot of victims provided service
Future efforts • Continue monitoring trends through police reported statistics. • Continue to include measures of spousal violence and criminal harassment on the GSS on Victimization (2009). • Continue to undertake the Transition Home Survey and Victim Services Survey. • Continue data linkage of police and courts files and move towards linking across systems to better understand case processing and outcomes of violence against women cases.