Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Prevalence of Abuse on Women

In Canada, according to Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile (Statistics Canada, 2004):

  • Women continue to far outnumber men as victims of assault by a spouse or partner.
  • Females were the victims in 85% of reported cases of spousal violence.
  • Half of all family homicides involved spouses.
  • 62% of female homicides were committed by male spouses, either current or estranged.

In the General Social Survey (Statistics Canada, 2000), compared to males, females were:

  • Seven times more likely to be sexually assaulted (20% vs. 3%);
  • Three times more likely to report physical injury (40% vs. 13%) and five times more likely to require medical attention as a result of a violent incident;
  • More likely to fear for their lives (38% vs. 7%); and
  • More likely to be killed by someone with whom they had an intimate relationship (52% vs. 8%).