Women in vulnerable demographics most at risk of domestic homicide
More than three quarters of Canada’s domestic homicide victims were women, according to a new report released Thursday that said belonging to some specific demographic groups elevates the risk of a violent death even more. The report from the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative, a multi-year project studying domestic homicides with a focus on vulnerable groups, tracked data from across the country and analyzed relevant deaths between 2010 and 2015. Of the 476 people slain in a domestic homicide during that time, the report found 76 per cent of them were women or girls.
The study focused particularly on four vulnerable groups — those of Indigenous heritage, immigrants and refugees, people living in remote or rural areas and children. Taken together, people belonging to those four groups comprised 53 per cent of homicide victims killed during that time period, the report found. Myrna Dawson, report coauthor and University of Guelph professor of public policy and criminal justice, said the numbers should serve as a wake-up call to a society that may have been lulled into a false sense of security about the safety of women in general and vulnerable populations in particular.
“There is much talk about the need for improved resources for women and children experiencing violence, but I think sometimes that the general public feels that we have addressed this issue,” Dawson said.