Four groups ‘at greater risk’ of do­mes­tic slay­ings: study

The Beacon Herald - - NEWS -

There were more than 400 do­mes­tic homi­cides in Canada dur­ing a five-year pe­riod and more than half in­volved one of four “vul­ner­a­ble” pop­u­la­tions, ac­cord­ing to new re­search led in part by Western Univer­sity.

The 418 do­mes­tic slay­ings be­tween 2010 and 2015 ap­pear to dis­pro­por­tion­ately hit what re­searchers with the Cana­dian Do­mes­tic Homi­cide Preven­tion Ini­tia­tive with Vul­ner­a­ble Pop­u­la­tions call com­mu­ni­ties “at greater risk” of such vi­o­lence.

“Each of these pop­u­la­tions ex­pe­ri­ence fac­tors that greatly en­hance their vul­ner­a­bil­ity to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and homi­cide and ex­ac­er­bate the nega­tive men­tal and phys­i­cal health con­se­quences of vi­o­lence,” said Myrna Daw­son of the Univer­sity of Guelph, who led the re­search with Peter Jaffe of Western Univer­sity.

“These groups face greater chal­lenges in find­ing ser­vices and safety.”

Of the 418 do­mes­tic homi­cides in Canada dur­ing those five years, 253 of them, or 53 per cent, were iden­ti­fied by re­searchers as be­long­ing to one or more of the four “vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions” they iden­ti­fied. Those groups are:

• Indige­nous peo­ples

• Im­mi­grants and refugees

• Ru­ral, re­mote, and north­ern pop­u­la­tions

• Chil­dren killed in the con­text of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

Each of these pop­u­la­tions ex­pe­ri­ence fac­tors that greatly en­hance their vul­ner­a­bil­ity to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and homi­cide and ex­ac­er­bate the nega­tive men­tal and phys­i­cal health con­se­quences of vi­o­lence.” Myrna Daw­son

Re­searchers cite “his­tor­i­cal op­pres­sion” and lack of ac­cess to re­sources, ei­ther through ge­o­graphic iso­la­tion or such fac­tors as lan­guage, cul­ture or poverty, as creat­ing greater risk.

In a state­ment, Jaffe said, “the chal­lenge across the coun­try” is to of­fer greater sup­port “for vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions in a man­ner that ad­dresses ex­ist­ing in­equities and in­creases ac­cess to re­sources and ser­vices.”

Other find- ings of the fiveyear look at Cana­dian do­mes­tic homi­cides in­clude:

• The 418 do­mes­tic homi­cides in­volved 476 vic­tims.

• There were 427 adult vic­tims (90 per cent) and 49 vic­tims 17 and younger (10 per cent).

• 79 per cent of the adult vic­tims were fe­male, 21 per cent were male.

• Among child vic­tims, 53 per cent of vic­tims were fe­male and 47 per cent were male.

• Of adult vic­tims, 28 per cent were 25 to 34 years old. The over­all av­er­age age was 39. Among child vic­tims, ages ranged from less than a year to 13 years, with an av­er­age age of six.

• There were 443 ac­cused iden­ti­fied in the 418 homi­cides. Most of the ac­cused — 86 per cent — were male.

• Of all those ac­cused, 21 per cent com­mit­ted sui­cide and an­other seven per cent at­tempted sui­cide fol­low­ing the homi­cide.

• Of the ac­cused, 25 per cent were aged 25 to 34 years, with an over­all av­er­age age of 40.

• Most vic­tims — 61 per cent — were in a cur­rent in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship with the ac­cused; 26 per cent were sep­a­rated or es­tranged.

• Among the 61 per cent of cases in which the vic­tim and ac­cused were in a re­la­tion­ship, 21 per cent had ev­i­dence that sep­a­ra­tion was im­mi­nent or pend­ing. Of those, the ma­jor­ity in­volved fe­male vic­tims and male ac­cused (91 per cent).

GALEN SIM­MONS/THE BEA­CON HER­ALD

In prepa­ra­tion for a Jazz Ves­pers ser­vice at St. James Angli­can Church start­ing at 4 p.m. this Sun­day, pi­anist/ com­poser Paul Shilton of the Paul Shilton quar­tet re­hearsed on the church’s pi­ano Thurs­day af­ter­noon. Not pic­tured are quar­tet mem­bers Matthew Lima (bass), Larry Lar­son (trum­pet), and Dave Cam­pion (drums).

Jaffe

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