Victims of domestic homicide are overhwelmingly women: study

A new report out Thursday is shining a light on domestic homicide in Canada and who its victims are - primarily women.

The report from the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative tracked data over a five-year period from 2010 to 2015.

It found that not only were three-quarters of domestic homicide victims female, but more than half of the victims were either refugees/immigrants, Indigenous, people living in rural/remote areas or children.

One of the study's co-authors says the results should serve as a wake-up call to society about the safety of women and vulnerable populations.

In a statement, Myrna Dawson said, “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.”

Some key findings include:

  • there were 476 victims, 90 per cent were adults
  • females made up 79 per cent of adult victims
  • the average age of a victim was 39 years old
  • most of the accused, 86 per cent, were male, on average 40 years old
  • there were 37 children killed in the context of domestic homicide

Study co-author Peter Jaffe, who works at Western University, said in a statement, the key will be reaching vulnerable populations.

“Our growing knowledge base needs to be translated into action in the field to support victims and service providers to assess and manage risk as well as promote safety planning.”