A woman or a girl was killed every 2.5 days on average in Canada last year, according to a new report on femicide.
The first annual report by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability (CFOJA), which is titled “#CallItFemicide,” was written to get a better understanding of gender-related killings targeting Canadian women and girls.
- Police looking for woman who went missing during hike in Leaside
- Update: Police identify the 10 innocent victims killed in Toronto van attack
- Man charged with murder of Burnaby woman in Alberta
The report, which is in response to the United Nations calling on other countries to better track the gender-related killing of women, was released Wednesday and pulled numbers and demographic information from media reports of the deaths.
Last year, 148 women and girls were killed by violence in Canada. This means on average, every 2.5 days one woman or girl is killed in this country, which is a consistent trend for the past four decades, according to the COJA.
The 148 women and girls killed in 2018 occurred during 133 incidents, with 140 people accused in their deaths. In 12 of the 133 incidents, no accused has been identified and many of the cases are still being investigated.
When an accused has been identified, 91% are male, which the COJA says is consistent with national and international patterns.
53% killed by male partners
The report found that 53% of the women and girls were killed by male partners and another 13% were killed by other male family members.
The remaining victims were killed by male strangers (21%) or acquaintances (13%).
Following the slayings, approximately 11% of the accused committed suicide – all of whom were male.
The report also touched on the Toronto van attack, which claimed the lives of eight women and two men last spring. The accused is Alec Minassian, and he now faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.
The woman killed in the van attack are among the 21% allegedly killed in 2018 by a stranger.
Who were the victims?
The highest rate of victims killed was in Nunavut followed by the Yukon, New Brunswick and Manitoba. The lowest rate was in Quebec followed by British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
Approximately 34% of women and girls were killed in rural areas when only approximately 16% of Canada’s population lives in rural areas.
Moreover, women and girls aged 25-34 years were overrepresented as victims — 27% of those killed, but only 14% of the population.
The report identified three key arenas with which to examine “the broader community- or societal-level factors that can work to facilitate or prevent, male violence against women.”
These three areas are the media, the criminal justice system — particularly the courts — and finally, the legislative and policy contexts.
“All three arenas can play a powerful role in challenging, or entrenching, problematic attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes that work to perpetuate and maintain men’s violence against women and girls.”