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