Canada’s chief medical health officer’s latest report on family violence shows “staggering” statistics.
Dr. Gregory Taylor says “for many, this report may be difficult and disturbing to read” and notes that family violence is not just about physical abuse, but includes sexual, emotional and financial abuse, as well as neglect.
The report, released Friday, shows that almost 58,000 girls and women were victims of family violence in 2014 and every four days a woman was killed by a family member.
Population surveys show a third of Canadians report experiencing abuse before they were 15 years old.
“Family violence impacts health beyond just immediate physical injury, and increases the risk for a number of conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease,” Dr. Taylor writes.
The report found that in 2014, indigenous Canadians were murdered at a rate six times higher than non-indigenous Canadians, with aboriginal women three times more likely to report spousal abuse.
As well, the report suggests that eight seniors on average were victims of family violence every day.