The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has just released its report “The Gap in the Gender Gap: Violence Against Women in Canada.” The report looks at the status of women in Canada, the economic implications of violence against women – both partner violence and sexual violence – and then examines the levels of violence and spending and services in each province and territory.
In Ontario, according to the report, the number of self-reported incidents of sexual assault increased by nearly 100,000 between 1999 and 2009 while the number of police-reported sexual assaults decreased slightly. The report finds that rates of spousal violence have remained constant over the past decade and that almost 3,500 women seek protection from shelters every day.
With respect to spending and services: “Based on available information, the Government of Ontario spent approximately $188 million on programs and services related to intimate partner violence and sexual assault in the fiscal year 2011-12. This represents $16.87 per person for the Province of Ontario.”
The report concludes with a number of recommendations, including the need for a national action plan to address violence against women and the need to look beyond the criminal justice system for solutions: “Solutions that meet the needs of survivors of violence must meet those survivors where they are – through the provision of services at the community level.”
You can read the report in its entirety at www.policyalternatives.ca