Violence - Statistics in Canada

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Violence - Statistics in Canada

 

Linda Purrington Title IX Advocates
March 30 - 1999

"This has been a real jump, this particular year, but that doesn't mean they're going to the police. We're definitely up, and I'm not clear what that's about, but I think it belies the whole idea that there's a drop in violent crime in terms of sexual assaults."

Most of those clients are between 16 and 21, Ms. Addison said, and two-thirds of the time they have been attacked by someone they know.

9,200 children are sex victims in Canada 30% of sex assaults involve kids, study says

Tuesday, March 30, 1999 TIMOTHY APPLEBY The Globe and Mail

Almost two-thirds of sexual-assault victims are younger than 18 and close to one-third are under 12, Statistics Canada says in a ground-breaking report.

The number of sex crimes reported to police fell again in 1997, marking the fourth consecutive annual drop, says the report released yesterday. And, unsurprisingly, four out of five victims were female.

But what also emerges from the agency's most comprehensive analysis to date of sexual assault is that, among the 30,735 incidents reported to Canadian police that year, 62 per cent were young people under 18, or about 19,000.

Thirty per cent of the total were children 11 or younger, or about 9,200, while 32 per cent, about 9,800, were 12 to 17.

No comparable data on the age of sexual-assault victims have been captured before by the agency's Centre for Justice Statistics, so whether those high percentages have grown or diminished is moot.

Anecdotal evidence from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, which handles about 1,000 such cases a year, suggests that they are stable.

Both the statistics and the accompanying breakdown are clouded by two factors. One is that, based on victim surveys (as opposed to complaints to police), up to 90 per cent of sexual assaults still go unreported, commonly because the victim is reluctant to go to court.

Among young people, particularly small children living at home, there may be a greater willingness to speak up. If so, that would skew the youths' share of the total.

Second, while Statscan bases its findings on the national total of reported offences, its analysis is drawn only from those police agencies that feed details into the agency's Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.

This particular breakdown was culled from the findings of 179 police forces in six provinces, encompassing just 48 per cent of all crime in Canada. A national breakdown thus might also reapportion the percentages.

What is clear is that a young person is considerably more vulnerable to sexual assault than to other threats. Of all those victimized by violent crime generally in 1997, just 24 per cent were under 18.

The total of 30,735 reported sexual offences -- 101 per 100,000 Canadians -- is in line with a trend under way for several years, reflecting an overall drop in violent crime generally.

The numbers began climbing after 1983, when legislation broadened the definition of sexual assault, and peaked in 1993, with 135 incidents per 100,000.

But while the 1997 total was 25 per cent below that peak, it was still 8 per cent greater than a decade ago, and 74 per cent above the 1983 level.

Counsellors such as Mary Addison of the Sexual Assault Care Centre at Toronto's Sunnybrook hospital -- the largest such centre in Ontario, with several hundred clients each year -- are dubious about reading too much into the data.

"We've had more people come through this year -- 59 more so far, compared to the same time last year," she said. "This has been a real jump, this particular year, but that doesn't mean they're going to the police. We're definitely up, and I'm not clear what that's about, but I think it belies the whole idea that there's a drop in violent crime in terms of sexual assaults."

Most of those clients are between 16 and 21, Ms. Addison said, and two-thirds of the time they have been attacked by someone they know.

Among Statscan's other findings:

In 85 per cent of cases, the assaults were classified as Level 1, meaning minimal physical injuries were incurred. Serious injury occurred 3 per cent of the time, while other types of sex offences -- usually involving children -- accounted for 12 per cent.

Males accounted for 98 per cent of accused sex offenders in 1997 and 18 per cent of victims. (Among victims under 12, the male percentage rose to 31 per cent.)

A majority (57 per cent) of sex offenders convicted in 1997-98 went to jail, compared with 38 per cent of all violent offenders. They also drew longer terms of incarceration.

A PROFILE OF SEX CRIMES IN CANADA

The number of sex crimes reported to police fell in 1997, but juveniles under 18 - most of them women - were victims nearly two-thirds of the time. Victims of sexual offences by age and sex, 1997

FEMALES MALES TOTAL
Under 12 20% 9% 30%
Youths 12-17 27 5 32
Adults 18+ 35 3 38

-** Rates of reported sexual offences across Canada, 1997 Canadian average...101

Quebec 58
Ontario 89
PEI 113
Alberta 117
N.B 130
N.S 131
B.C 132
Nfld 160
Manitoba 160
Sask 183
Yukon 421
NWT 947

-** Who makes up the prison population?

Adult population Sex Violent Total in Canada offenders
offenders
Males 49% 99% 97% 95%
Aboriginals 2% 23% 19% 17%
Married People* 63% 37% 35% 31%
People with Grade 9 19% 41% 40% 37%
or less

Unemployed 10% 41% 50% 52% -*includes common law -**
Prison population: total numbers
Sex offenders 3,343
Violent offenders 17,482
Other 16,716
Total prison population 37,541

Sentencing of adult offenders, 1997-1998 SEXUAL OFFENDERS Prison 57% Probation 39% Fine 2% Other 1%

 

VIOLENT OFFENDERS Prison 38% Probation 51% Fine 8% Other 3%

Source: Statistics Canada

web: http://www.spirit.net.au/gerry/profem/profem.html e-mail: owner-profem-l@coombs.anu.edu.au

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Forwarded with permission.....

Greetings to all. I am the director of the Freedom and Justice Center For Prostitution Resources. My collegues are Kelly Holsopple, Patty Maguire, and also Jill Leighton who has served as our webmistress and frequent advisor. For the past several months we have been developing a Prostitution Recovery Center model designed for women who want to leave prostitution. This is the culmination of planning and discussion that has taken place among activists, survivors, agencies, and grassroots community folks. It all started with a position paper (see http://www.angelfire.com/mn/fjc/index.html) and has grown to the point that it is being considered for funding by our Minnesota State Legislature. The support has been truly amazing!!! Soon, we will begin testifying, making the case for funding and at the same time educating the many who are wanting to understand and to help.

I am asking for your help. This is a time for an outpouring of support. Would you be willing to write a letter of support? Specifically, review the position paper at the above web address and consider writing a letter (not e-mail) stating: Who you represent, Why you think a PRC is a good idea , and any other comments you would like to make. Please send to: Bill Nelson Volunteers of America 2825 East Lake Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406 USA

More about me. I am a director of a women's jail. Prostituted women do not belong in my jail. My wish for prostituted/abused women is that they have a full measure of opportunity to escape these circumstances, and that the community has a responsibility to support measures to assure this as a right. More on my philosophy at: http://www.voa.org/publications/spirit/fall98/jailer.htm. In the the meantime we will keep you informed of our progress - you will be proud of us!!!

Bill Nelson

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CEDAW is the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women, a useful (pro)feminist education and advocacy tool.

here is an interesting post, aired on a number of lists, referring to the way so-called 'men's rights' forces are trying to impede and reverse efforts in favor of women's rights in education, both in the U.S. and Canada but probably elsewhere too. A reminder of key influences - such as sexist harassment - and an invitation to beware of this political movement, usually advanced via pleas for affirmative action and separate facilities for boys, in the face of girls' superior performance in school work.

martin

(...) This message is in response to your request for information about how CEDAW [Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women] can be used by the American Bar Association in the United States to eliminate educational discrimination against girls/women. We have several suggestions and comments:

1. To see some of the issues that are driving and dividing the education community, you might look at the archived discussions of the list-serv Edequity, which is a governmental arm of the WEEA, Women's Educational Equity Act (edequity@ tristram.edc.org).

2. You will see there that the forces for women's equity in education are under serious attack by the soi-disant men's rights organizations, who have seized on the fact that girls/women are outperforming boys/men at all levels of education to say that discrimination is now tipped against men. There is a call to "help the boys," without recognition that the boys have no motivation to perform better if they are consistently rewarded in the marketplace not for educational performance, but for being of the dominant sex.

3. You will also see there that the law known as Title IX (meaning Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a spending clause requiring federally funded schools not to discriminate against girls/women in their programs) is under attack. First, Title IX has been interpreted by many, both inside and outside the women's movement, as a law that concerns only athletic programs; this is the area in which it has had its greatest success. This splits the community that might otherwise unite to fight all forms of discrimination, not just athletic.

4. But the chief plague of U.S. education for girls/women has been sexual/gender harassment, which pervades all educational experiences and profoundly shapes the socialization of both boys and girls. This was first recognized in U.S. Supreme Court case Franklin v. Gwinnett County, which allowed monetary damages to be levied against the school that allowed the harassment. Christine Franklin had been repeatedly harassed by her teacher, with the knowledge of the school administration.

5. Last year in Gebser v. Lago Vista, the Court confirmed the liability of schools that permitted teacher-student harassment--but raised the hurdles that such a charge had to leap.

6. This year the Court heard arguments in Davis v. Monroe, which asks the Court to decide if schools are liable for stopping peer sexual harassment. If the schools are not held liable, we will have (again) open season on girls/women in our educational institutions. This would roll back not only educational gains, but the slim economic gains women have made in the marketplace. One might expect the decision to be announced right after school lets out in June--as with Gebser--effectively undercutting grassroots organization of protest. 7. The American Bar Association can help by beginning a serious training program on the issues and options (not limited to Title IX) in eliminating educational discrimination against women/girls. This program should be ongoing and well funded. Discussion of CEDAW should become a central element in the training of lawyers in education.

8. The ABA could also open and host a public, archived discussion of the issues and options in eliminating educational discrimination, not limited to Title IX. Again, CEDAW and the experience of other countries should be used to dissipate provincial approaches to options.

 9. The ABA should establish an educational equity legal clinic and promote it actively and widely to help girls and women find equity in a system that currently constricts access through the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, nominally charged with "enforcing" Title IX. The OCR has never enforced Title IX.

These are a few of the ways that the American Bar Association can begin to relate CEDAW to the need for educational equity in the United States. Please let us know if we can provide other information. And thank you for what you are doing.

Linda Purrington Title IX Advocates

 

 

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