END VIOLENCE TOGETHER For The Dignity Of Every Woman Insert Agency/Program Name
Presentation OverviewInsert Length of Time What Is Violence Against Women? How Common Is It? Why Focus on Violence Against Women? What Is The Impact? What Can We Do To End Violence Together?
Violence Against Women Includes: • Sexual Assault • Violence in Relationships: Also called Domestic Violence, Domestic Abuse, Family Violence, Battering, Spousal Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence • Criminal Harassment or Stalking
How Common Is Violence Against Women? “Violence against women is a persistent and ongoing problem in Canada and around the world. It affects women’s social and economic equality, physical and mental health, well-being and economic security.” Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006 Statistics Canada
How Common Is Violence Against Women? “Estimating the prevalence of violence against women—the number of women in the population who are affected by violence—is challenging due to the very private nature of these experiences.” Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006 Statistics Canada
How Common Is Violence Against Women? “Victims' decisions to report the violence to criminal justice and social services depend on a variety of factors, some of which include fear of the offender, shame and embarrassment, and regional availability of services.” Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006 Statistics Canada
How Common Is Violence Against Women? • Almost 40% of women in Canada have been sexually assaulted since age 16 • Approximately 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience some form of unwanted sexual contact before they reach 16. Dangerous Domains: Violence Against Women in Canada Johnson, H., 1996
How Common Is Violence Against Women? • 6% of sexual assaults are reported to the police in Canada (E Division, RCMP, 2005) • In the year 2000, 24,000 sexual assaults were reported to police in Canada. (Statistics Canada) • In the year 2000, 3,700 sexual assaults were reported to police in BC. (Statistics Canada) • This means that in the year 2000over 400,000 women in Canadaandover 61,000 women in BCwere sexually assaulted.
How Common Is Violence Against Women? • 61% of sexual offences reported to police in 2003 involved victims under 18 years old. About 80% of those victims were girls. • In some First Nations communities in BC, over 90% of the women have experienced sexual violence. • 53% of women who live with disabilities from birth have been raped, abused or assaulted. • As with all forms of violence against women, immigrant women, refugee women, poor women and trans-gendered people are more vulnerable to sexual violence.
How Common Is Violence Against Women? • 10,273 incidents of violence in relationships were reported to BC police in 2005: • 9% increase since 2004 • 74% involved a male offender • 16% involved a female offender • represents 26% of all assaults in BC
How Common Is Violence Against Women? Number of spousal homicide victims in Canada 1975- 2004 Female Male Newfoundland and Labrador 15 7 Prince Edward Island 6 1 Nova Scotia 62 24 New Brunswick 52 7 Quebec 497 87 Ontario 753 186 Manitoba 123 48 Saskatchewan 98 59 Alberta 244 97 British Columbia 293 104 Yukon 9 5 Northwest Territories 22 11 Nunavut 4 2 Canada 2,178 638
How Common Is Violence Against Women? • In 2004: • 75% of criminal harassment (“stalking”) incidents reported to the police were directed at women • 50% of the women were stalked by a person with whom they had an intimate relationship • Stalking is the number one risk factor for actual and attempted murders of women(McFarlane et. Al, 2002) • 90% of people reported for stalking are menMeasuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends, Statistics Canada, 2006) • Two thirds (66%) of all criminal harassment incidents occurred at the victim’s home.
Why Focus On Women? International Agencies such as the United Nations, theWorld Health Organization, and Amnesty International have identified violence against women as aglobal human rights issue.
Why Focus On Women? • Women are more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe forms of spousal assault, as well as spousal homicide, sexual assault and stalking. Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006 Statistics Canada
Why Focus on Women? Women are: • 6 times more likely than men to report being sexually assaulted • 5 times more likely to require medical attention as a result of assault • 3 times more likely to be physically injured • Almost twice as likely to report being threatened with or having a gun or knife used against them • Much more likely to fear for their lives or the lives of their children Spousal Abuse: A Fact Sheet From the Department of Justice Canada
Why Focus on Women? Gender-based violence is perhaps the most wide-spread and socially tolerated of human rights violations. It both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. United Nations Population Fund (2005)
What is Violence Against Women?Sexual Assault • Any form of sexual contact without a person’s consent, including the threat of sexual contact without consent • Can range from unwanted sexual touching to forced sexual intercourse
What is Violence Against Women?Sexual Assault • Level 1: Sexual Assault [s.271] • Level 2: Sexual Assault with a Weapon, Threats to a Third Party, or Causing Bodily Harm [s.272] • Level 3: Aggravated Sexual Assault [s.273]
What is Violence Against Women?Sexual Assault • Most of the women killed or seriously injured in the context of sexual violence in recent years have been members of marginalized groups, facing particular barriers that made it harder for them to access critical support systems.
What is Violence Against Women?Sexual Assault • The victims of William Pickton were sex trade workers and drug users, many of whom were Aboriginal women • Most of the women who were murdered or have gone missing on Highway 16 are Aboriginal women • The women and girls who were victimized by Donald Bakker were Vancouver area sex trade workers and under-age girls in Cambodia
What is Violence Against Women?Sexual Assault • Sex offences are less likely than other violent offences to result in charges against a suspect and adults charged with sex offences are less likley than other violent offenders to be found guilty • Sex Trade workers are more at risk of violence and homicide than the general population and their cases are less likely to be solved. Kong, Rebecca, Johnson, Holly, Beattie, Sara and Cardillo, Andrea. Sexual Offences in Canada. Juristat, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 23:6. (2003).
What is the Impact?Sexual Assault • Psychological/emotional: • Fear of physical injury, mutilation and/or death • Anger • Humiliation • Shame • Guilt • Shock • Sleep disturbances
What is the Impact?Sexual Assault • Serious physical injuries • Unwanted pregnancies & miscarriages • STDs including HIV/AIDS • Headaches & fatigue • Loss of appetite/nausea
What is the Impact?Sexual Assault Self Blame Loss of hope Minimization/Denial Loss of a Sense of Esteem Loss of a Sense of Power Shattering of World View Loss of a Sense of Safety & Trust
Addictions Self-esteem Self-injury Suicidal ideation Fears/anxiety Physical symptoms Dissociation experiences Sexual difficulties Eating disorders Emotional difficulties Sleep disturbances Relationship issues Parenting issues What is the Impact?Sexual Assault
What is the Impact?Sexual Assault • A partner may focus on the sexual nature of the crime more than the violent or dangerous aspects • Partner may experience feelings of jealousy as a result of the attention and support the survivor receives • Partner may experience the following reactions to the sexual assault: • Disgust • Mistrust • Blame • Disinterest
What is the Impact?Sexual Assault Family members may experience: • Anger • Helplessness • Shock • Disbelief • Guilt • Fear These may be directed at the survivor
Violence in Relationships • Physical assault: hitting, punching, choking, slapping, pulling hair • Sexual assault: any form of forced sexual activity • Threats and Intimidation • Emotional abuse: insults, intimidation, control, isolation, mind games, put downs • Financial abuse: controlling, stealing and withholding money • Spiritual/cultural abuse: restricting spiritual or cultural practices or beliefs • Murder
Violence In Relationships – The Law • The Canadian Criminal Code has no specific offence called “violence against women” or “spousal assault”. • Criminal Code provisions that most commonly apply include the offences of assault, sexual assault, criminal harassment, threats of violence, forcible confinement and homicide.
Violence In Relationships - Policy The Criminal Justice System response in BC is guided by: The Attorney GeneralViolence Against Women In Relationship (VAWIR) Policy The RCMPViolence In Relationship (VIR) Policy The Crown CounselSpouse Assault Policy
Violence In Relationships In recent years, there have been a number of dramatic & tragic deaths of women and children as a result of domestic violence: • Sherry Heron and Anna Adams in Mission • Lorraine Moon in Alert Bay • Denise Purdy in Nanaimo • In Quatsino, Sonya Handel’s six children were killed by her estranged husband who was troubled and abusive
Violence In Relationships Barriers often make it difficult for women to access critical support systems. This was the case for all the women involved in the recent domestic violence tragedies: - Sherry Heron suffered from physical disabilities related to injuries to her head and pelvis - Lorraine Moon was an Aboriginal woman living on reserve - Denise Purdy was an immigrant woman of colour - Sonya Handel and her children lived in a very isolated rural setting
Violence In Relationships • The experiences of Heron, Moon, Purdy and Handel reflect the reality of many women in our culturally and geographically diverse province & highlight the need to provide pro-active outreach to assist women with disabilities, Aboriginal, immigrant and rural women • Coroners’ inquests and/or local inquiries revealed what were missing in all these cases: • a coordinated response system • a network that could identify and address risk and provide specialized support in a coordinated and productive way involving a variety of systems • These BC findings echoes similar inquests outcomes in Ontario
Violence In Relationships - Pregnancy In Canada, 1 In Every 5 Women Assaulted By A Partner Is Assaulted During Pregnancy Statistics Canada, Family Violence in Canada, 1999Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Violence Against Women Fact Sheet
Violence In Relationships - Separation In Canada: · 1,056 intimate partner homicides in a ten year period • 846 women killed (80%) • 210 men killed (20%) • 70% of deaths had a history of domestic violence as noted by police* • Family Violence in Canada, A Statistical Profile, 2004 Statistics Canada
Violence In Relationships - Children • Death & Injury In Quatsino, Jay Handel killed his six children. • Witnessing Almost 40% of women assaulted by spouses said their children witnessed the violence against them (either directly or indirectly) and in many cases the violence was severe. In half of the cases of spousal violence against women that were witnessed by children, the woman feared for her life.
What is the Impact?Violence In Relationships • Physical & Psychological Effects • Health problems • Self-harming behaviours • Long-lasting effects • More likely to commit suicide • Decrease in income • Injury/permanent disability • Death
What is the Impact?Violence In Relationships Children who are exposed to violence in the home suffer from emotional trauma, have poor educational outcomes, and are at increased risk of using violence to solve problems. Berman, H., J. Hardesty and J. Humphreys. 2004. Children of abused women. In Humphreys, J. and J. Campbell (eds.) Family Violence and Nursing Practice. New York: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
What is Violence Against Women? Criminal Harassment On August 1, 1993, the Criminal Code was amended to create the new offence of criminal harassment. It was introduced as a specific response to violence against women, particularly to domestic violence against women. However, the offence is not restricted to domestic violence and applies equally to all victims of criminal harassment. Criminal Harassment: A Handbook For Police And Crown Prosecutors. Department of Justice Canada
What is Violence Against Women? Criminal Harassment Examples of Criminal Harassment: calling you over and over again, and perhaps hanging up whenever you answer the phone contacting you on the Internet or through constant e-mail messages following you, your family or friends leaving threatening voice messages sending you gifts you do not want watching you or tracking where you go threatening you, your children, family, pets or friends Stalking is a Crime Called Criminal Harassment Department of Justice Canada
What is Violence Against Women? Criminal Harassment While many crimes are defined by conduct that results in a very clear outcome (for example, murder), criminal harassment generally consists of repeated conduct that is carried out over a period of time and that causes victims to reasonably fear for their safety but does not necessarily result in physical injury. Criminal Harassment: A Handbook For Police And Crown Prosecutors. Department of Justice Canada
What is Violence Against Women? Criminal Harassment Before 1993, persons who engaged in stalking conduct might have been charged with one or more of the following offences: intimidation (section 423 of the Criminal Code); uttering threats (section 264.1); mischief (section 430); indecent or harassing phone calls (section 372); trespassing at night (section 177); and breach of recognizance (section 811). Criminal Harassment: A Handbook For Police And Crown Prosecutors. Department of Justice Canada
What is the Impact?Criminal Harassment Some common responses by victims to the trauma of being stalked include the following: self-reproach; a tendency to downplay the impact of the stalking; interpretation of the stalking as a “private matter”; a sense of betrayal and stigma; anxiety and fear, due to the unpredictability of the stalker’s conduct; feelings of being helpless and unable to control their lives; lack of confidence in police, resulting in a failure to report; inaction, due to a lack of awareness that the conduct is criminal; and denial or embarrassment. Criminal Harassment: A Handbook For Police And Crown Prosecutors. Department of Justice Canada
Ending Violence TogetherSupport Services • VictimLINK (1-800-563-0808) • Over 400 service programs to assist in violence against women and children including: • Community-Based Victim Assistance Programs • Stopping The Violence Counselling • Outreach Programs • Transition Houses • Safe Homes • Second Stage Housing • Children Who Witness Violence • Helpline for Children (310-1234)
Ending Violence TogetherSupport Services Community Support Services Can Provide Practical Assistance for Survivors: • development and/or revision of safety plan • assistance with getting copies of court orders • explanation of procedures and accompaniment to meetings with police, Crown, etc. • assistance in completing forms • liaison with systems • court accompaniment, accompaniment to sentencing, hearing, if requested • assistance with transportation, if requested • provision of, or assistance in securing, translation where needed or available