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Pandemic saw uptick in family, intimate partner violence, sex assaults

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“Increase in family violence is likely a reflection of people spending more time at home, often isolating from others”: Stats Canada

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Pandemic lockdowns took a violent toll on some Canadian families, according to a new study.

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Violence, and intimate partner violence and sexual assault increased during 2020 and 2021, according to data from the Canadian Centre for Justice and Safety Statistics.

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During most or portions of those two years, households were affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

“The increase in family violence is likely a reflection of people spending more time at home, often isolating from others, during the pandemic,” said Statistics Canada in releasing the study.

It marked the fifth consecutive year of increase in general violence among family members.

There were just over 127,000 victims of police-reported family violence in 2021.

These classified as incidents were committed by spouses, parents, children, siblings and extended family members.

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Women and girls represented two-thirds — 69% — of family violence victims.

“With many individuals spending more time at home with household members — often living, working and studying in isolation during uncertain and stressful times,” the agency wrote, “Ongoing concern about the safety of individuals living in abusive situations has been at the forefront for victim services, such as shelters for victims of abuse.”

When it comes to general violence between intimate partners, last year marked the seventh consecutive year of a gradual increase.

Compared with 2019 — before the pandemic — intimate partner violence was four per cent higher in 2021.

Family violence also turned deadly in many cases.

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Of the 788 homicide victims reported in Canada in 2021, 154 were killed by a family member.

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Sixty per cent of these victims were women and girls.

Just weeks ago in Peel region, Chandanpreet Kaur, 22, was fatally stabbed inside a Mississauga store Sept. 19.

Peel cops said she was the wife of the suspect, Charanjeet Singh, 26, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his wife of three years.

As for sexual assault incidents between intimate partners – the increase in 2021 was described as “large”.

It was up 22% compared with 2020.

The study also said the problem is likely worse than what is known.

It relied on figures that “reflect(s) only the incidents of family violence and intimate partner violence that were reported to police. Often, these types of incidents go unreported to authorities.”

[email protected]

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Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


“Increase in family violence is likely a reflection of people spending more time at home, often isolating from others”: Stats Canada

Article content

Pandemic lockdowns took a violent toll on some Canadian families, according to a new study.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Violence, and intimate partner violence and sexual assault increased during 2020 and 2021, according to data from the Canadian Centre for Justice and Safety Statistics.

Article content

During most or portions of those two years, households were affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

“The increase in family violence is likely a reflection of people spending more time at home, often isolating from others, during the pandemic,” said Statistics Canada in releasing the study.

It marked the fifth consecutive year of increase in general violence among family members.

There were just over 127,000 victims of police-reported family violence in 2021.

These classified as incidents were committed by spouses, parents, children, siblings and extended family members.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Women and girls represented two-thirds — 69% — of family violence victims.

“With many individuals spending more time at home with household members — often living, working and studying in isolation during uncertain and stressful times,” the agency wrote, “Ongoing concern about the safety of individuals living in abusive situations has been at the forefront for victim services, such as shelters for victims of abuse.”

When it comes to general violence between intimate partners, last year marked the seventh consecutive year of a gradual increase.

Compared with 2019 — before the pandemic — intimate partner violence was four per cent higher in 2021.

Family violence also turned deadly in many cases.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Of the 788 homicide victims reported in Canada in 2021, 154 were killed by a family member.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Sixty per cent of these victims were women and girls.

Just weeks ago in Peel region, Chandanpreet Kaur, 22, was fatally stabbed inside a Mississauga store Sept. 19.

Peel cops said she was the wife of the suspect, Charanjeet Singh, 26, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his wife of three years.

As for sexual assault incidents between intimate partners – the increase in 2021 was described as “large”.

It was up 22% compared with 2020.

The study also said the problem is likely worse than what is known.

It relied on figures that “reflect(s) only the incidents of family violence and intimate partner violence that were reported to police. Often, these types of incidents go unreported to authorities.”

[email protected]

Advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

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